Discussion: Kiko Calero

A 1.95 ERA sure doesn't go as far as it once did.  Veteran reliever Kiko Calero posted that career-low mark in 67 appearances for the Marlins last year, as well as an impressive 10.4 K/9 ratio.  With those numbers, a career ERA+ of 132 and a history of dominance against right-handed hitting (RHB have hit just .202/.266/.312 against Calero in his career), you would've thought that the 35-year-old had set himself up for a decent free agent contract this winter.

Instead, teams have opened their spring training camps and Calero (a Type B free agent) is still without a new address.  He has been connected to a few clubs, but hasn't signed for a variety of reasons…

  • Florida, who signed Calero to a minor-league deal for $500K in January 2009, didn't offer salary arbitration to the right-hander and haven't pushed hard to bring him back.  MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweeted that the chances of Calero returning to the Marlins "are very slim" since the Fish are worried about Calero's injury history.  The reliever tore his right rotator cuff in 2008 and also missed a few weeks of action last season with shoulder problems.
  • These arm problems may have also scared off the Cubs, who were talking to Calero last month.  Chicago only wanted to give Calero a one-year contract, while the reliever was looking for two years.  The Cubs have been looking for bullpen help all winter and might be well served to revisit negotiations with Calero given right-hander Angel Guzman's most recent injury woes.
  • San Francisco made an offer to Calero that CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban guessed was probably a one-year deal plus an option.  But that news broke over a month ago, and the Giants have since announced that they had finished their winter shopping.

So if these teams are out of the running, who's left?  One intriguing destination is St. Louis.  Calero broke into the majors with the Cardinals, posting a 2.80 ERA in 67 appearances with the Redbirds in 2003 and 2004 before being shipped to Oakland in the Mark Mulder trade.  Erik Manning of Fangraphs points out that the Cards' bullpen is the "one potential Achilles heel" on a team that should dominate the NL Central, and finds it "surprising" that there have been no whispers about the Cardinals bringing Calero back. 

If the righty performs as he did in 2009, he would provide a big boost to whatever team takes the plunge and signs him.  For Calero's part, he might have to recognize the reality of the market and accept a one-year deal or a contract similar to the Giants' reported offer rather than hold out for a multi-year commitment.  After all, not every reliever can be as lucky as Brandon Lyon.


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25 Comments on "Discussion: Kiko Calero"


Member
rootman1010
5 years 4 months ago

im sure calero’s demands have gone down enough for the cubs to give him a look. they were in on chan ho park and calero’s demands are probably close to park’s.

i think the cubs have a legit shot at trading for frasor. the jays are obviously rebuilding and don’t need frasor, downs, and gregg.

if they could get gregerson i would be pumped.

i think felipe lopez should sign with the cubs if they have the money. what would lopez cost right now? 1 yr, $3MM? that would allow the cubs to keep baker in that super utility role which suits him best. baker or lopez could get time at third when aramis inevitably gets hurt.

with lopez:

1. theriot ss
2. lopez 2b
3. lee 1b
4. ramirez 3b
5. byrd cf
6. soriano lf
7. fukudome rf
8. soto c

that looks a lot better than throwing fontenot in there somewhere. with guzman and lilly hurt, scoring runs will be important for the cubs to start the year.

Member
alexchicago14
5 years 4 months ago

if the cubs did this, i would consider that a pretty good bounce back from last off season. but they’ll probably try for calero, but pass on lopez and gamble with castro and fontenot

Member
Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

Or give lopez 5/50 deal because hendry is a genius.

Member
Ricky Bones
5 years 4 months ago

Ferrariman = Tony Tag.

Member
Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

what the hell does that even mean? you’ve been saying im a “tony tag” for a few days.

Member
Ricky Bones
5 years 4 months ago

Come on, Tone. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t pretend.

Member
disgustedcubfan
5 years 4 months ago

With a no trade clause and a $4million buy out.

Member
disgustedcubfan
5 years 4 months ago

I think the Cubs hopes are riding on Castro, not so much Fontenot.
I like to think that by now, the Cubs understand what Fontenot can and can not do.
Being an everyday, productive major league 2nd baseman would be in the “can not do” column.

Member
Ricky Bones
5 years 4 months ago

Not going to happen.

Member
Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

I’m gonna say he signs a 1yr deal for 650k and a 300k buyout ( opttion year)

Member
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

I’d make that for 800k.

I think Felipe Lopez would be a great fit on the Astros.

Member
coolstorybro222
5 years 4 months ago

I think the fish are stupid to let him go. They just need to take another risk. besides they have not that good set up men..?

Member
Ian_Smell
5 years 4 months ago

It’s really interesting nowadays how teams want to get younger and are more cautious of health, even after how well Calero pitched last year.

Member
Ricky Bones
5 years 4 months ago

It’s the trend of the day & some guys are going to suffer until it naturally cycles out & the next trend comes around.

Member
coolstorybro222
5 years 4 months ago

what I find weird is that teams are treating him like he is bullpen poison