Francisco Cordero Rumors

Red Sox Release Francisco Cordero

TODAY, 9:37am: Correcting his earlier report, Cotillo tweets that Cordero is represented by Relativity.

YESTERDAY, 4:28pm: Cordero will be represented by new agents on the open market, tweets Chris Cotillo of He has switched from Proformance to ACES.

11:20am: The Red Sox have released pitcher Francisco Cordero, tweets Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The move was expected after GM Ben Cherington said this morning that Cordero would not make the roster and was not expected to accept a minor league assignment.

Cordero, soon to turn 39, has not seen MLB action since 2012. Once one of the most reliable relievers in the game, the longtime closer had a rough go in his last big league season, putting up a 7.55 ERA campaign in 2012. Before that, however, he had gone a decade of full-time work without an ERA greater than 3.84, and had posted six seasons of sub-3.00 ERA pitching. In eight spring innings for the Red Sox this year, Cordero struck out eight while surrendering just one walk, five hits, and no earned runs.

Pitching Notes: Hernandez, Cordero, Lewis, Gonzalez

Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez has a torn UCL and may require Tommy John surgery, Hernandez's agent Jason Hoffman tells FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).  Hernandez is getting a second opinion but if the original diagnosis is confirmed, the right-hander will miss the entire 2014 season.  Since coming to Arizona in December 2010 as part of the Mark Reynolds trade, Hernandez has posted a 3.42 ERA, 3.17 K/BB and 10.8 K/9, though he struggled a bit last season due to an inflated home run rate.  Losing Hernandez would further hurt the Arizona pitching staff, which also lost Patrick Corbin to an UCL tear earlier this month.

Here are some more notes about pitchers whose roster status is in question…

  • Francisco Cordero has been told by the Red Sox that he isn't making the Opening Day roster, so the veteran reliever is now deciding whether to go to Triple-A Pawtucket or leave for another team,'s Alex Speier reports.  While Cordero doesn't officially have an opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Sox, the two sides have an agreement that Cordero would be released if he finds a job elsewhere.
  • Colby Lewis can opt out of his minor league deal with the Rangers on April 10, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports.  Lewis was brought back on a minors contract after missing the entire 2013 season recovering from hip-resurfacing surgery, and the Rangers have been easing him back into action during Spring Training.
  • If the Phillies are in need of another 40-man roster spot, GM Ruben Amaro said that Miguel Alfred Gonzalez could end up on the 60-day DL, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.  Gonzalez was officially placed on the 15-day DL (backdated to March 21) today due to tendinitis in his right shoulder.

Red Sox Notes: Ortiz, Drew, Cordero

The latest on the 2013 World Series champs…

  • David Ortiz told John Tomase of the Boston Herald that he's sick of the negative public response when he discusses his desire for a new contract (though he did so with far more colorful language, as Tomase notes). As far as how long he wants to continue his career, Big Papi offered the following: "When you put up numbers like I’m putting up, who’s thinking about retiring, know what I’m saying? People keep on asking me, how long do you want to play? When are you going to retire? Dude, look at my numbers. I ain’t planning on retiring right now. When I slow down, then I’ll retire."
  • Ortiz told's Alex Speier (Twitter link) that if no deal is done prior to his next venture into free agency following this season: "…then we'll be talking about a real contract."
  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe outlines many of the reasons that make it logical for the Red Sox to be interested in re-signing Stephen Drew, and then explains why, in spite of those reasons, they should let him walk. Abraham opines that Xander Bogaerts needs to be given a chance to maximize his value at shortstop, that Will Middlebrooks' 2012 and late 2013 flashes of excellence make him worthy of another chance, and that the value of an additional draft pick when Drew signs elsewhere outweigh the benefit of bringing Drew back to Boston.
  • Francisco Cordero had interest from both the Orioles and Marlins, but he chose the Red Sox after admiring their 2013 World Series run while watching at home in the Dominican Republic, Speier writes. Cordero, who says he dropped 30 pounds this offseason, doesn't have an opt-out clause in his deal, but Speier writes that he and the team have an understanding where Cordero will be allowed out of his contract if he's not going to make Boston's roster and has an opportunity with another team. Cordero said he felt like a kid again when he put on his Red Sox jersey and feels that he didn't join a team, he joined a family.

Red Sox Sign Francisco Cordero

TUESDAY: There's no opt-out clause in Cordero's minor league deal, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

MONDAY: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Cordero's base salary upon making the team would be $1MM.

SUNDAY: The Red Sox have signed Francisco Cordero to a minor league deal, according to John Tomase of the Boston Herald (on Twitter).  The former closer last appeared in the majors in 2012 with the Astros.

Cordero underwent surgery to his non-throwing shoulder early in 2013 and was said to be targeting 2014 for his big league return.  The 38-year-old posted a 7.55 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 2.06 HR/9, and 39.6% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays and Astros in 2012.  He lost the Jays' closer job in May of that year, was traded to Houston in July, and was released by the Astros in September after hitting the DL with a toe injury.  Cordero owns a 3.38 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 over the course of 824 2/3 career innings.

Francisco Cordero Aiming For 2014

Free agent reliever Francisco Cordero is aiming for 2014 after undergoing surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Cordero was released by the Astros in September of last year.

Cordero, 37, posted a 7.55 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 2.06 HR/9, and 39.6% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays and Astros last year.  He lost the Jays' closer job in May, was traded to Houston in July, and hit the DL with a toe injury prior to his release.  Cordero has 329 saves in his career, second among active players.

Astros Release Francisco Cordero

The Astros have released Francisco Cordero, according to's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).

Houston acquired Cordero as part of a 10-player trade with the Blue Jays that also netted them Ben Francisco and five minor leaguers. Cordero was installed as Houston's new closer, but struggled mightily in five innings for the 'Stros. The 37-year-old allowed 11 runs on 13 hits before hitting the 15-day disabled list. He hasn't appeared in a game since Aug. 1.

Cordero signed a one-year deal worth $4.5MM late in January to serve as the setup man for new Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos. Neither Santos nor Cordero wound up latching onto the closer role in Toronto, however, as Casey Janssen emerged as the team's ninth inning stopper following Santos' injury problems and Cordero's ineffectiveness. Cordero endured far and away the worst season of his career in 2012, pitching to a 7.55 ERA in 39 1/3 innings thanks to a whopping nine homers allowed.

Cordero owns a 3.38 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 over the course of 824 2/3 career innings. His 329 saves rank 12th all-time. He's just one save behind John Wetteland and 13 saves behind Rollie Fingers. If he ends up closing for a team again in his career, he could work his way into the all-time Top 10.

Astros, Blue Jays Complete Ten-Player Trade

The Astros and Blue Jays have completed a ten-player trade, the teams announced. The Astros obtain seven players from Toronto: right-hander Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, minor leaguers Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins and Carlos Perez, and a player to be named. The Astros send left-hander J.A. Happ (pictured) and right-handed relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to Toronto in the trade.

J.A. Happ - Astros (PW)

“Once again we are adding depth to our minor league system with quality young players," GM Jeff Luhnow said in a team press release. "We really feel this will help us moving forward and are extremely excited about the players we’ve added to our organization.”

Cordero and Francisco don't have assurances of staying with the Astros beyond 2012. Cordero, 37, has a 5.77 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 34 1/3 innings this year. He signed a one-year deal with a base salary of $4.5MM before the season. Francisco, 30, earns $1.54MM this year and will be arbitration eligible again this coming offseason. He posted a .240/.296/.380 batting line in Toronto and battled a hamstring injury, so he could be considered a non-tender candidate.

The Blue Jays selected Wojciechowski in the supplementary first round of the 2010 draft. The 23-year-old has a 4.05 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in parts of three minor league seasons. He ranked tenth on Baseball America's offseason list of Toronto's best prospects. Musgrove, 19, was a supplementary first round selection of Toronto's in the 2011 draft. The 6'5" right-hander has a 3.31 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 32 2/3 innings over the course of two pro seasons.

Rollins, 22, has a 2.46 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in parts of two pro seasons. The Blue Jays selected the left-hander in the 24th round of the 2011 draft. Perez, 21, has a .275/.358/.447 batting line at Class A Lansing this year. The Venezuelan catcher has a career .777 OPS in parts of five minor league seasons.

Lyon, 32, is also on track to hit free agency this coming offseason. The former Blue Jays reliever has a 3.25 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 36 innings with Houston this year. Lyon, who pitched in Toronto from 2001-02, earns $5.5MM this year in the final season of a three-year, $15MM contract.

This marks the second time in three years that Happ has been involved in a midseason trade. The Astros acquired the left-hander from Philadelphia along with current Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose for Roy Oswalt in 2010. Happ, 29, has a 4.83 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 104 1/3 innings so far in 2012. He's earning a salary of $2.35MM this year and will remain under team control through 2014.

Carpenter, 27, has a 6.07 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 29 2/3 innings out of the bullpen this year. The right-hander has a strong minor league record: a 2.97 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in five seasons.

The Blue Jays announced that they called up Travis Snider. The 24-year-old had a .335/.423/.598 batting line at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

NL Central Notes: Garza, McGehee, Greinke, Cordero

Cardinals legend Red Schoendienst was born on this day in 1923.  Schoendienst spent 15 seasons in St. Louis as a player and 14 more as a manager, winning a World Series in both positions (as well as another Series win as a member of the Milwaukee Braves in 1957).  Schoendienst's career was capped off when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Here's some news from both St. Louis and elsewhere in the NL Central…

  • The Cubs' arbitration hearing with Matt Garza is scheduled to take place tomorrow, reports Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.  There is a sizable gap between the two sides; Garza is asking for a salary of $12.5MM, while the Cubs are offering $7.95MM.  The result of this hearing could have an impact well beyond Chicago, as if the Cubs win the hearing, Garza's lower price tag could re-ignite trade interest in the right-hander.  
  • The Cubs unveiled plans today for a new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic.'s Jesse Sanchez has the details.
  • The Pirates' arbitration hearing with Casey McGehee is set for February 16, reports Bill Brink of the PIttsburgh Post-Gazette.  Brink's source says the two sides are still negotiating to see if the hearing can be avoided.  MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently looked at the arb cases for both McGehee and the other side of the Bucs' first base platoon, Garrett Jones.  
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick looks at Zack Greinke's decision to act as his own agent and the history of other players who have handled their own contract negotiations.  The Brewers right-hander is entering the last year of his four-year, $38MM contract but is open to the idea of signing an extension with Milwaukee.
  • The Reds "had an offer on the table" for Francisco Cordero since the end of the 2011 season, writes's Mark Sheldon but the team wouldn't give Cordero more than a one-year contract with an option.  Cordero was holding out for a multiyear deal so the Reds signed Ryan Madson instead.  Cordero settled for a one-year, $4.5MM deal with the Blue Jays and Shelton opines that Cordero "can’t be thrilled with how his offseason turned out."
  • Beyond losing Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, the Cardinals' quest to defend their World Series crown could be complicated by their reliance on several players with checkered injury histories, writes FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Blue Jays To Sign Francisco Cordero

The Blue Jays agreed to sign right-handed reliever Francisco Cordero to a one-year, $4.5MM contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The Proformance client will set up for closer Sergio Santos, Rosenthal writes.

Cordero, 36, posted a 2.45 ERA with 5.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 50% ground ball rate in 69 2/3 innings for Cincinnati this past season. Cordero reached the 30-save plateau for the fifth consecutive season, saving 37 games. His average fastball velocity checked in at 93 mph, but peripheral stats such as xFIP (4.14) and SIERA (3.91) suggest his 2.45 ERA may be artificially low. The Angels, Phillies, Orioles and Rangers all showed interest in Cordero leading up to today's agreement, MLBTR has learned.

The Blue Jays' bullpen will look considerably different in 2012, with newcomers Cordero, Jason Frasor, Sergio Santos and Darren Oliver joining holdovers Carlos Villanueva, Luis Perez, Jesse Litsch and Casey Janssen. Toronto's relievers placed 24th in MLB with 7.5 K/9 and 21st in MLB with a 3.88 ERA in 2011. The bullpen appears considerably stronger heading into the 2012 season, but the Blue Jays' rotation doesn't boast the same depth as other American League clubs such as the Yankees, Tigers, Rays, Angels and Rangers.

Though the Blue Jays won't have to surrender a draft pick to sign Cordero, the Reds will obtain a supplementary first round pick because of the modified procedure for Type A free agents under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement.

It's been a busy week for the Blue Jays, who signed Omar Vizquel last night and extended Brandon Morrow this morning. The Cordero agreement seems to remove them from the Koji Uehara trade talk.

Angels, Jays, Orioles, Phillies Are Pursuing Cordero

6:54pm: Bean Stringfellow, Cordero's agent, wouldn't comment on whether the Angels were looking at Cordero as a closer or as Jordan Walden's setup man, reports DiGiovanna.  Stringfellow called it "a delicate situation."

6:21pm: The Angels, Blue Jays, Orioles and Phillies are all pursuing Cordero, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).  These could well be the four finalists Gonzalez referenced.

5:29pm: Free agent reliever Francisco Cordero expects to sign with a new team by the end of the week, reports's Alden Gonzalez.  Four clubs are finalists for Cordero; Gonzalez's source identifies the Angels as one of the four, but the Rays are not in the mix.  One of the unknown teams "is a championship-contending team looking to slot [Cordero] in the eighth inning," and Gonzalez speculates this could be the Phillies, looking at Cordero as Jonathan Papelbon's setup man.

The Angels, Red Sox, Reds and Orioles have all been linked to Cordero this winter, though Boston's acquisitions of Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon probably eliminate them from the hunt.  The Reds are probably also out due to their signing of Ryan Madson, though they fit Gonzalez's description of a title contender and Cordero could be open to remaining in a familiar environment to chase a World Series.