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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Cordero update II

Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com reports that the Reds have reached an agreement on four-year, $46 million deal with free agent closer Francisco Cordero.

GM Wayne Krivsky wouldn't confirm that, but said: "We're having conversations. It takes two sides to get a deal done."

CEO Bob Castellini said: "We have not signed a contract with Cordero."

Have you agreed to a contract in principle?

"We have not signed a contract with Cordero?" Castellini said.

My guess is it's done, pending a physical. The Reds never give long-term contracts without a physical, and Cordero has not come to Cincinnati have one done.

The fact the Reds are even talking to Cordero says they have money to spend on the free agents. A signing like this would put the payroll over $80 million, unless the contract is heavily backloaded.

"I'll let you make that assumption," Krivsky said. "You look at the closer's market and he's one of top guys."

Cordero saved 44 games last year for Milwaukee and had a 2.98 ERA.

Talking to other people with the Reds at the start of free agency, I got an inkling that Cordero was on their list. It makes sense. The club knows it has to upgrade pitching. Cordero would be an instant fix for the bullpen -- at lesser rate than a No. 3 starter. Rosenthal, citing sources, says Milwaukee offered Cordero $42 million for four years.


at 12:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Cordero's high K rate and low HR rate. Those things would be a fantastic departure for the Reds (and Krivsky).

But how much do we want to promise to a reliever for his age 33, 34, 35, and 36 seasons? Most players decline a LOT through their mid-30's.

How many free agent contracts wind up being bad contracts by the time they're up? Seems like most!

I'd love to come up with a young guy or two (with the high-K, low-HR numbers) who's still in the "improving and underpaid" part of his career, rather than the "declining and overpaid" portion.

Jonathan Sanchez of SF comes to mind. Don't know what it would take to trade for him...

Anyway... Cordero would be great... if at a reasonable price tag and for a reasonable length of time.

at 1:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Cordero's high K rate and low HR rate. Those things would be a fantastic departure for the Reds (and Krivsky).

But how much do we want to promise to a reliever for his age 33, 34, 35, and 36 seasons? Most players decline a LOT through their mid-30's.

How many free agent contracts wind up being bad contracts by the time they're up? Seems like most!

I'd love to come up with a young guy or two (with the high-K, low-HR numbers) who's still in the "improving and underpaid" part of his career, rather than the "declining and overpaid" portion.

Jonathan Sanchez of SF comes to mind. Don't know what it would take to trade for him...

Anyway... Cordero would be great... if at a reasonable price tag and for a reasonable length of time.

at 1:03 PM Anonymous Josh G said...

ASSETS: A live, high-90s fastball is his greatest asset, coupled with a nice slider to keep hitters honest. When he's got runners on, he keeps them close.
FLAWS: His pitch selection is questionable when the situation is crucial, leading to some less than appealing results with runners in scoring position.
CAREER POTENTIAL: A strong closer.

with Weathers and Burton to set him up, the back of the Reds bulpen would be very good.

at 1:24 PM Blogger SL said...

It would be a great move but I doubt it happens. The Reds won't put up enough cash to get him. Their history shows they are too cheap to do it.

at 1:39 PM Anonymous Trev said...

It's good to hear the Reds may be in a 'final three' for a free agent for a change. However, can't blame them if they don't win him over because I assume it will take considerably more than $42M/4 years. Personally, I'd prefer a good setup man for about 2 years at less than $4M per year. I think that Burton is ready to step up, if not Weathers can go at it again. I hope they can get Guardado back but I doubt they can beat the option price that went by the wayside.

at 2:13 PM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Wasn't he better in Milwaukee, than on the road? How was in with RISP at GADP?

at 2:22 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Be a shock for the Reds to land Cordero on several levels:

1.) The agent always plays onoe offer off another, and if the Brewers are in the final three, then expect them to bid higher to keep Cordero and keep him from a division rival.

2.) The Brewers are closer to winning than the Reds but is that separation Cordero?

3.) If you are Cordero, why would you want to pitch in GABP? Go back and look at his home-game logs for his final three years in Texas, another very friendly hitters park. Ouch!

4.) The Reds never get these types of free agents unless they grossly overpay.

at 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds can't go with another "lets try this young guy and hope it works out" closer. They HAVE to have a sure thing next year. Maybe you try that if you're a pretty good team (Boston) and you have a stud pitcher like Papelbon. But the Reds can't afford to lose another season because their closer can't close.

at 2:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Reds really need to put money into player development, especially when it comes to relievers who are a) overpriced and b) who Krivsky has shown no ability to evaluate. Paying this dude 11-12 million for 4 years is a guaranteed recipe for buyer's remorse.

at 3:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well... looks like some things have changed... and we're about to find out if more has changed.

The Reds were always too cheap and close minded to go outside the organization to hire a winner and pay him 3.5 million a year... right?

Change is GOOD!

at 4:20 PM Blogger SL said...

I love how people think you can go out and get a good setup man for 2 years at less then 4 million. You have to be joking. Those players aren't on the market.

at 4:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just went to www.foxsports.com, according to them, the Reds and Cordero have agreed on a contract.

at 5:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cordero/Burton/Bray, and Weathers are legit. Get a #3 starter and a legit lefty bullpen arm and Reds fans can start having genuine dialogue about a post season team. Merry Christmas. Lets go Reds!

at 6:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

cordero is a red only thing left is he has to pass a physical .... reds fans dont come in here and bad talk this move you wanted change and here it is we have burton in the 7th , weathers 8th and now cordero in the 9th looking alot better for reds fans ..... WE FINALLY HAVE A DECENT LOOKING BULLPEN

at 6:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's big bucks, and with some risk, but you must appriciate the effort the front office is making. They still need one good starter, and one - two mid to late relievers to come up, or it will be the same old story in Cincy. It's a good start though for the off season. Don't stop with Cordero Krivsky!!!!!

at 7:49 PM Blogger cincikid said...

I have to agree. As a fan I appreciate the level of commitment that Castellini and the ownership group is willing to make towards getting a closer, if the reports are correct. Though I don't make this offseason a A grade, until we fill some more wholes. A starting pitcher or two, and a right handed bat would be nice.

at 7:54 PM Anonymous B'ville Andy said...

They needed to do something, because Weathers really over achieved and his arm will fall off this year. He is not legit and had a good year or did it just look good on a crappy team? go Reds, glad to see them chasing a good free agent. Bray in the 7th, Burton in the 8th, and Cordero to close it.

at 8:39 PM Blogger 5chw4r7z said...

Wow this is awesome if it happens, how many games did the Reds lose in the 8/9 inning last year? If I remember there were many games they were leading by 3 to 5 runs and blew it.

at 9:39 PM Anonymous Stan said...

Great signing. But, the pressure is on Krivsky to make the first and third round draft picks count this year since signing Cordero will lose the Reds their second round pick. Obrien may have been a social zero, but it looks like his two drafts have netted the Reds some of their best prospects.

at 9:52 PM Anonymous mikec said...

That's a whole lot of money for a closer. But wow that makes that bullpen ten times better.

at 9:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting if this does get done. Suddenly the bullpen will not cause me to reach for the rolaids every time. That' one big hole filled and on paper it looks like a solid bullpen.

It's a move the Reds have to make to show the commitment along with raising the ticket prices. I would hope all of us will give it time to see what becomes of this move.


at 9:57 PM Anonymous Keith said...

I think this is a great move. He's a proven guy, both in Texas and Milwaukee. And as Fay mentions, he comes cheaper than a #3.

As for the people who say he's overpaid, wake up! $10 million per year is the market rate, whether we think the guy's "overpaid" or not. They're all overpaid!

At least the club is taking bold moves to make the club better.

Now as long as Dusty doesn't burn him out....

at 10:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing. If Cordero was 25 with a lifetime ERA of 0.05 in 3 full seasons, half of this town would be grumbling because of something else about him. If the deal comes to fruition, BC is stepping up to help stop the nightly late inning meltdowns that have had the Reds out of the race early, year in and year out. We wanted something more than a bunch of 41 year old retreads and castoffs and this is a nice start. Enjoy the effort. I'm as disgusted as anyone about the moves made/not made by the organization over the years but you have to admit, this move would be in the right direction. Weathers, Burton & Cordero looks pretty decent in the backend to me! There's more to do, but it's a nice start.

at 10:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its all good as long as Dunn doesnt get dumped to pay for it.

at 11:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

john if you talk to bob or wayne tell them great move dont worry if people say hes overpaid we needed this also id like to send me thoughts to the family of joe kennedy who passed away this morning

at 11:21 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

I like the step and love the effort. I was totally shocked when I heard the news because I didn't expect the Reds to spend this kind of money for a closer. This does a LOT for the team. Just think, with Cordero, Weathers, a more experienced Burton and a healthier Bray this team would have won an extra 8-10 games last year. That's a BIG difference.

I don't know how the contract is structured but wouldn't be surprised if this year is relatively lower than the rest. I expect we'll have another 14 mil in money to spend next year when Ross, Stanton and Griffey's contracts are gone.

This does make me wonder if there isn't a trade on the table somewhere that would move some of the team's salary... maybe?

at 2:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good signing if the Reds pull it off. Don't rule out the possibility of Griffey or Dunn being traded to compensate for this signing. It's possible that the Reds could trade one of their high priced players for additional pitching, opening a roster spot for a younger player without increasing payroll as much as you think!

at 7:39 AM Anonymous Monty said...

I was shocked and so happy to read the news that they signed Cordero! But I wish Krivsky wouldnt keep playing things off like a nuclear secret! Is he afraid he will jinx the deal if he says, yeah, we are close to signing him if he passes a physical? Whats the big deal to say that? I hope this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as deals to come! We do need another right handed stick in the lineup, because of how dreadful the Reds were against lefties. Maybe EE is gonna be packaged in a deal, cause I read somewhere that Scott Rolen could be coming here. If so, maybe package EE and Freel, along with someone else for a starter? Then, we have a real good team for a change!!

at 10:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cordero is a great asset, but how will Dusty use him ? Yost was very methodical in using his set-up system to get to Cordero. Dusty's Cubs closers in 2004-2006 pitched more innings and appeared in more games ( Innings:71 average vs. 66 for Cordero and games: 83 average vs. 63 for Cordero) because Dusty likes the starters to go longer than the the norm.

Will Dusty end up putting too much stress on an aging reliever by using him more than he is used to ?

at 10:46 AM Anonymous redleg2420 said...

I love this deal. This is HUGE! The first few comments were negative, of course! But I think most of this city will get behind the Reds. This is the change we needed. This sets up a pretty solid bullpen now. Another lefty reliever and trade Hamilton for a number 3 starting pitcher and we are right in the playoff race. Its a great day to be a Reds fan.

at 10:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of you that question the Reds decision to sign the best available FA out there (Cordero) for 46M over 4 years have a small town mentality. The Reds just signed the best FA available reliever out there. This has been their achilles' heel.

Signing Cordero was a great move. Most really good teams have dominant closers. With Cordero, Weathers, and Burton near the back end of the game -- the Reds should stop losing games in the 7, 8, and 9 innings. We could see a 10-20 game turn-around if Cordero, Weathers, and Burton perform next year based upon statistics of last year. The Reds probably still need a #3 starter -- but if the Reds win, people will come.

Signing A-Rod for 20M (I know he signed for 27.5M -- overpaid again IMO) or Tori Hunter for 18M would have been an idiot move for the Reds. Signing the best reliever out there, who is only 32 (Weathers is 39 and has been effective) -- Great Move by the Reds. People will fill the stadium if this team wins.

You can't win with great starters if your relievers cough up the game in the 7, 8, and 9 innings. For the most part, the Reds have not been losing games in the 1, 2, 3 innings -- they have been losing them in the last 3 innings.

The Reds need to spend 80-90M in their division to have a chance -- they need to spend at the level of their division -- they seem to be willing to do that for next year. Let's see what else they do. Great move on Cordero though.


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