Longtime closer Francisco Cordero has officially announced his retirement, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. Cordero, of course, hasn’t pitched in the Majors in three seasons — his last big league game came on Aug. 1, 2012 — but he had yet to fully give up on his goal of returning, as evidenced by the fact that he pitched in winter ball in 2013 and 2014 and also went to Spring Training with the Red Sox in 2014.
Cordero explained to Rojas that he didn’t want to walk away without making a formal announcement of his decision, and so even though he himself suggested that the timing is a bit unusual, he still felt it was the right thing to do. Cordero formally thanked each organization for which he pitched over the course of a 20-year professional career and the fans who supported him during that time.
Originally signed by the Tigers at the age of 19 back in 1994, the now-40-year-old Cordero made exactly 800 relief appearances (no starts) with the Tigers, Rangers, Reds, Blue Jays, Brewers and Astros from 1999-2012. The Dominican hurler compiled a lifetime 3.38 ERA with 8.7 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 329 saves and a 47-53 win-loss record. Cordero made the All-Star team on three occasions, and though he never led the league in saves, he did record three seasons of 40-plus saves, topping out at 49 in 2004.
Cordero’s consistently strong results from 2002-07 led him to sign one of the largest contracts ever received by a relief pitcher — a four-year, $46MM contract with Cincinnati that, to this day, is topped only by Jonathan Papelbon’s $50MM guarantee with the Phillies and B.J. Ryan’s $47MM guarantee with the Blue Jays. In total, Cordero earned more than $66MM over the life of his career, according to Baseball-Reference.com. MLBTR wishes him and his family happiness in his post-playing days.