As Mark Zuckerman writes, Chad Cordero’s slow start to the 2007 season isn’t doing much for his trade value. In the early going, Washington’s closer has started relying more on his mediocre breaking pitches. He was concerned that hitters would sit on his fastball. Now he’s falling behind to most hitters. Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post gives his take here.
Home runs were a major issue for Cordero last year; he’s on the same path this season with three allowed in 9.1 innings. His normally solid control has been lousy, and he’s given up more hits than a pitching machine.
Keith Law’s scouting report in March warned of this (subscription required):
"American League teams looking at Chad Cordero as a closer solution might want to pause before meeting the high price Washington is asking for him. Cordero was throwing between 87 and 89 on Friday, and while he has a solid breaking ball, he works too often in the upper half of the zone — giving up 13 homers last year in a tough home-run park — and is just a tiny slip in command away from being a back-end reliever."
The old adage about trading a guy a year too early might apply here…will Cordero ever bounce back and have another 30 save season? He’s up to $4.15MM now and reaches free agency after the 2009 season. Even if he’s slipping, Cordero could probably help the Phillies, Reds, or Giants.