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The Orioles are interested in Francisco Cordero

Jan 16, 2012, 6:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

When the Reds signed Ryan Madson to a one-year, $8.5 million deal with a club option last week, it left Francisco Cordero without a logical landing spot to close ballgames in 2012. However, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is hearing that the Orioles have expressed interest in the veteran right-hander.

Cordero, who turns 37 in May, posted a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves last season in Cincinnati, but also averaged just 5.4 K/9 and saw his fastball velocity dip to a career-low 93 mph. While he induced ground balls 50 percent of the time and had his lowest walk rate since 2007, the American League East isn’t exactly the best environment for his decline phase.

Recent reports have suggested that Jim Johnson is the front-runner to close games for the Orioles this season, but the possible addition of Cordero could perhaps put him back in the mix for a rotation spot. Former closer Kevin Gregg is still under contract for $5.8 million this season, but Connolly hears that the O’s would be willing to eat some of his salary in a potential trade. Gregg is coming off a season where he posted a 4.37 ERA and an ugly 53/40 K/BB ratio over 59 2/3 innings, so it’s difficult to envision many teams lining up for his services, even at a discounted rate.

  1. missthemexpos - Jan 16, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    So the O’s would be willing to eat some of Kevin Gregg’s salary? Unless it is about 5 million dollars worth of eating, there would not even be a mystery team stepping up.

    • Charles Gates - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      Gregg’s RHP vs RHB splits last year yielded a 77 OPS+. There is some value there. (stats via bb-ref)

      As for Cordero, if the O’s sign him, he better not be on the roster past the trading deadline– meaning if his prorated cost is lower than the value of the expected prospect return, it could work out long term while providing some short term, in-season, benefit.

  2. bmoreballers - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    2 years ago they sign mike Gonzales- fail. Last year they sign Kevin Gregg- fail. When will they learn not to spend big money on a closer they’re just going to try and trade the following year

    • metalhead65 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      if they sign coco you will not have to worry about him being traded because nobody wants a closer who makes the ninth inning as exciting as this guy does. he may get alott of saves but almost none of them are routine.

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