I am in total shock and awe – the Reds have spent big money on a bona fide free agent closer. Cordero, a 9-year veteran, was 0-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 44 saves in 51 chances. He is a two-time All-Star, including in 2007.
In a way, it’s mind boggling; with one signing, the Reds have taken the worst part of their team and made it almost a strength. With Jared Burton showing promise last year, David Weathers as rock solid setup man and Cordero as the shut down closer, Cincinnati has to be excited with that potential – and that’s before they get to evaluate Spring Training (and God in Heaven, sit Cordero throughout the spring – nothing like having to pay for his Tommy John surgery too).
Personally, I’m surprised and very happy. The Reds Management have made a commitment to payroll by signing Dunn and now Cordero. It’s like my Christmas gift came early this year. Perhaps now I should ask for a supermodel under the tree…
Don’t look now, but the Reds have a real, bonafide closer because they doled out a ton of cash to sign Francisco Cordero for a healthy $46 million over four years. There’s even an option for 2012 that would make it a five year, $58 million deal.
That’s a ton of money for a guy who’s going to throw 65 innings but there’s little doubt that having a solid closer will go a long way towards appeasing the masses. I don’t buy into the whole save/closer thing but Cordero does have some impressive numbers. He has 528 career strikeouts in 506 innings and he’s given up just 36 homers in that time frame.
One thing I like about Cordero is he’s good against both righties and lefties (at least he was in 2007). His ground ball percentage wasn’t awesome in 2007 (41%) so you wonder if some of those fly balls he gave up will get out of the Great American Ball Park. Still, it’s move in the right direction. Heck, any quality pitcher we scoop up at this point is pushing the team in the right direction.
Baseball American unveiled their list of the top ten Reds prospects. I ran down the list over at Reds Minors so be sure to check it out.
I found myself profoundly sad when I saw the news that Joe Nuxhall had died yesterday. I was in the middle of singing for some Ohio State vs. Michigan pre-game festivities and I saw on a television above the bar that Joe had died. I forgot the words to the song and had to stop singing for a few seconds to get my bearings. In those few seconds, I reflected on Nuxhall and his significance to the Cincinnati Reds as an organization and “fan base.” There are few people in baseball that are the embodiment of a franchise like Joe. Nuxhall played for the team and broadcasted for the team for over 50 years. He was the voice of the Reds for me on the radio – a voice of my childhood. Although he has passed, his legacy for the Cincnnati Reds is forever cemented in our memories, in our hearts and throughout Great American Ballpark.
I mentioned when I first starting writing in this blog that the bronze statue of Nuxhall at the entrance to Great American Ballpark was created by a twin brother of a college friend of mine. He told me that the statue was made to allow the throwing hand of Joe to hold both a beer and a cigarette, which were two of his favorite things in life. Similar to what Cubs fans do with Harry Caray, I may pay such a tribute to Joe next time I visit.
It’s an odd situation unfolding with Eddie Guardado. The Reds picked him up with a blown out elbow and paid him to rehab. They did not pick up an option on him because they want him on the cheap – or at least with an incentive-laden contract. In return, Guardado files for free agency. I’m not sure where my loyalties lie here – perhaps a deal will be negotiated and it will be a moot point. I feel like Eddie should show some loyalty to the Reds who worked with him when he was injury-wise at his lowest point. I’m sure Guardado is proud and feels offended that Cincy didn’t pick up his option. He’s also got a bit of a point that he never threw with that much velocity in the first place – he was more of a finesse closer like Trevor Hoffman than a fireballer like Rob Dibble.
If the Reds don’t work something out with Everyday Eddie, what then? It’s not like they have a ton of options for the closer spot. Weathers performed admirably last year, but he’s probably not the answer in that spot (setup guy, yes). It’s very odd – do you overpay for someone coming off Tommy John surgery? Will anyone else overpay for him?
Well, Adam Dunn will be a Red for at least part of one more season as the team wisely picked up their option on the slugging outfielder. We all know I’m a fan of Dunn but the numbers speak for themselves. Top that off with the fact that Dunn turns 28 this year, when a lot of players begin hitting their peak and it made the decision that much easier. The question is, when does Dunn get traded?