The Nationals have acquired minor league righty Jimmy Cordero from the division-rival Phillies, per a club announcement. Philadelphia will receive cash or a player to be named in the agreement.
Cordero, who recently turned 25, was designated for assignment as part of the Phillies’ house-cleaning effort in advance of the recent deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. Though he hasn’t appeared in the majors, he was added to the 40-man last winter to prevent other organizations from staking a Rule 5 claim on him.
Arm issues limited Cordero to just 22 appearances last year, spread across the Phillies’ farm system. But he showed promise in 2015, when he ran up 67 innings of 2.55 ERA pitching with 8.6 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. Cordero was acquired by the Phils in the middle of that season in the deal that sent Ben Revere to the Blue Jays.
Phillies GM Matt Klentak recently explained why the organization had made the decision to move Cordero off of the big league roster. “A year ago at this time, we were pretty high on Jimmy,” Klentak said. “His year was not as productive as we had hoped and as he had hoped. It becomes a numbers game. That may sound cliche, but truly that’s the reality of it. We like him a lot and we would love to keep him in the organization, if possible.”
Instead of stick in Philly, Cordero will move south to D.C. For the Nats, he represents a reasonably high-upside arm on which to take a chance. Scouts have been intrigued in the past by Cordero’s sometimes-triple-digit velocity and promising slider. While the control hasn’t always been there and his health is now in question, there’s some reason to believe that he could be ready for major league action in the near-term.