Oct. 25: Cordero went unclaimed on waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Worcester, tweets Ian Browne of MLB.com.
While Cordero could’ve rejected the assignment and become a free agent and tested the market, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that Cordero quietly signed a one-year, $825K contract for the 2022 season at some point before he was passed through waivers (Twitter links). He’s still off the 40-man roster and would be owed the prorated portion of that salary for any time spent in the big leagues next season.
Oct. 21: The Red Sox have reinstated right-hander Phillips Valdez from the Covid-19-related injured list and cleared a spot on the roster by designating outfielder Franchy Cordero for assignment, per a club announcement. The team’s 40-man roster remains at 40 players.
Cordero, 27, was one of several players acquired in the three-team swap that sent outfielder Andrew Benintendi from Boston to Kansas City. Long touted as an immensely athletic and toolsy but unpolished upside case, Cordero wasn’t able to put things together in his Red Sox debut. The former Padres and Royals prospect tallied 136 plate appearances but managed only a .189/.237/.260 slash with a sky-high 37.5% strikeout rate.
While Cordero possesses elite speed, huge raw power and off-the-charts exit velocity numbers, it’s that strikeout rate that has continually hampered his ability to break out at the MLB level. The punchouts are simply nothing new, as he’s fanned in 35.7% of his career plate appearances between those three organizations.
To his credit, Cordero mashed his way through another season of Triple-A upon being sent down early in the year. Through 78 games with the WooSox, he posted a .300/.398/.533 batting line with 13 home runs, 24 doubles, two triples and a dozen steals (in 13 attempts). It’s a reminder of the tantalizing, innate ability that Cordero possesses but has not yet delivered in the Majors. He’ll now hit outright waivers, where the league’s other 29 teams will have the opportunity to claim him. If he passes through without a claim, the Sox can retain him by sending him outright to Triple-A.
It should, of course, be noted that the DFA of Cordero hardly closes the book on the Red Sox’ end of the Benintendi deal. The Sox still have four other players to show for that deal, though none has reached the Majors yet. Boston acquired right-hander Josh Winckowski and outfielder Freddy Valdez from the Mets (who received Khalil Lee from Kansas City), in addition to picking up righties Luis De La Rosa and Grant Gambrell from the Royals. Cordero was certainly the most recognizable name going back to Boston in the swap, but he wasn’t necessarily the key player in the deal.
As for Benintendi, he had a fine debut campaign in K.C., slashing .276/.324/.442 (106 wRC+) with 17 home runs, 27 doubles, two triples and eight steals (albeit with a woeful success rate, given his 17 attempts). He’s controllable for one more year via arbitration, with a projected 2022 salary of $9.3MM (courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz).