November 23, 2007

Reds To Sign All-Star Closer

No official announcement from the Reds on this yet, but ESPN and Fox are reporting this evening that closer Francisco Cordero and the team have reached preliminary agreement on a four-year, $46 million contract, which includes a club option for a fifth year and is subject to Cordero passing a physical.

Cordero worked 63-1/3 innings for the Brewers last season, converting 44 of 51 save opportunities while going 0-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He fanned 86 batters while walking only 18, and made the All-Star team for the second time in his career.

The signing would represent a second serious blow to the bullpen of the division rival Brewers, who have also apparently lost setup man Scott Linebrink to the White Sox. Linebrink reportedly has agreed to a four-year, $19 million deal with the ChiSox pending a physical.

The Fox article states that the deal would be the largest four-year contract ever given to a closer.

7 comments to “Reds To Sign All-Star Closer”

  1. KC2HMZ says:

    Frankly, I’m stunned. I’d have been thrilled if they’d gotten Linebrink, but I thought even he might be too expensive for the Reds’ budget. Signing Cordero, I’d have considered a pipe dream.

    A bullpen back end of Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Bray doesn’t look bad at all. If that’s what they end up with. They’re almost certainly going to have to shed some salary now.

    So, some trades would appear to be forthcoming, which is fine, since they still have a gaping hole in the starting rotation that needs filling, and logjams at first base and in the outfield that need clearing.

    Au Revoir, Messieurs Hatteberg et Freel, il faisait beau vous connaissant.


  2. Red Hot Mama says:

    Wow, thanks HMZ. You’re really on the ball.

    The weak, whipped, and mutilated bit of a Reds fan left in me just wishes that a bullpen were only one person deep.

  3. BubbaFan says:

    Trent seems to think this means the Reds are willing to raise payroll.

    Which doesn’t mean there won’t be trades. Jayson Stark reported at ESPN that Hamilton and Freel are being shopped by the Reds. They think Jay Bruce will be ready by June, so they’re trying to make room for him.

  4. Joe Aiello says:

    It’s actually Francisco Cordero, not Chad.

  5. jinaz says:

    Minor correction–it’s Francisco Cordero, not Chad. 🙂 -j

  6. KC2HMZ says:

    Doh! Yes. There are two guys named Cordero who are closers. Bowden has one in Washington. The Reds got the other one, and probably the better of the two. Thanks, Jinaz, for pointing out the error.

    Trade possibilities abound. As the media has already observed, the Reds have a surplus of outfielders (Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Freel, Hopper, Bruce) and first basemen (Hatteberg, Votto, Cantu). Of course, Dunn and Griffey have no-trade clauses and probably aren’t going anywhere.

    What I haven’t seen the media mention yet is that they also have a surplus of middle infielders behind Gonzalez and Phillips. Cantu was originally a middle infielder. They have Castro and Keppinger at the major league level. They have Janish and Gil in the minors. If there’s interest, one or more of those guys could figure in a trade too.

    If you assume Cordero, Weathers, Burton, and Bray as four of the seven guys in the pen, the candidates for the other three slots would be Stanton, Majewski, McBeth, Coffey, Salmon, and Coutlangus if he’s not a starter. There’s even a surplus there with five or six guys vying for those three roster slots. I’d like to hold on to Salmon and maybe McBeth, but I can’t imagine many other teams beating a path to Kriv-Dawg’s door to acquire Stanton, Majewski, or Coffey.

    They’re also a bit thin at catcher with Ryan Hanigan an injury away from being in the majors, but Krivsky can probably pick up somebody in the spring to stash at AAA so I don’t see that as a major problem. The big concern right now is the starting rotation.

    After Harang and Arroyo, there’s a lot of question marks. You have Belisle (inconsistent) and Bailey (unproven) and I don’t even know who I’d call the fifth starter. You can’t count on anything from Livingston because he’s trying to come back from a torn labrum. Ramirez is quietly accumulating an injury history too and so is a dicey proposition. I suppose Shearn is a possibility. And Coutlangus, but I think I’d rather have him in the pen.

    Beyond those guys, it’s somebody from the minors such as Cueto, Maloney, Smit, all of whom are probably not ready for the majors yet.

    And with the Reds having just spent over $40 million on a closer, I don’t see them diving into the free agent market for starting pitchers, so either they make one or more trades, or come spring training we’ll be watching them throw a lot of stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

    Gonna be an interesting winter.

  7. BubbaFan says:

    Infielders…the ESPN article also suggested that Scott Rolen might end up in Cincinnati. Though that was before the Cordero deal was reported. Does that mean the Reds are shopping EE, too?

    Cantu, IMO, is a first baseman, and probably should be a DH. He came up at 2B, but his glove is terrible. That’s one reason the Rays sent him back down. I would not consider him as a middle infielder except in an emergency.

    Gil can play OF as well as IF, including CF (remember that fantastic throw to home he made during spring training?). But he had Tommy John surgery this year, so probably won’t be trade bait now.

    Janish was just added to the 40-man roster. Like Bubba, he’s a product of the Rice University baseball program. I’m guessing they won’t trade him; they’re hoping he’ll be their starting SS when the A-Gon era is over.