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Longtime closer Francisco Cordero “more than happy” to be setup man for Blue Jays

Feb 7, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Francisco Cordero AP

Francisco Cordero saved 37 games with a 2.45 ERA for the Reds last season, but then found himself in perhaps the biggest buyer’s market for veteran relievers in the history of free agency this offseason and ended up settling for a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Blue Jays.

Oh, and he’ll be a setup man in Toronto too. And the 37-year-old three-time All-Star with 327 career saves said yesterday that he’s just fine with the new role:

They explained to me what my role is going to be, I agreed to it, and I’ll be more than happy to do it. I will be the setup guy, I’ve been that before. I have to treat the eighth inning like the ninth and get us to Santos.

“Santos” is Sergio Santos, who was acquired from the White Sox and handed closing duties months before Cordero fell into the Blue Jays’ lap. Santos has fewer career saves than Cordero had in 2011 alone, but he’ll enter the season with ninth-inning duties. Of course, that doesn’t mean Cordero won’t be looming in the background to take over the gig should Santos falter.

As for the reliever logjam that led to Cordero settling for a modest one-year deal and no closing job, he explained:

I thought the market would be a little better. My agent spoke with a lot of teams, like Cincinnati and some others. I’ll pitch for one year and who knows? And who knows what will take place during the course of the season?

It’s also worth noting that several reports had Cordero turning down a two-year, $14 million offer to return to the Reds early on this offseason, in which case he had an opportunity to escape the buyer’s market with a nice multi-year commitment and overplayed his hand.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    It’s also worth noting that several reports had Cordero turning down a two-year, $14 million offer to return to the Reds early on this offseason, in which case he had an opportunity to escape the buyer’s market with a nice multi-year commitment and overplayed his hand.

    He can thank Papelbon for that, all the free agent closers thought they could leverage big paydays after they saw Ruben pay through the nose to sign his preferred reliever. To be fair, Bell escaped early with a good signing in Miami. But he’s one of the few lucky pitchers.

    • paperlions - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      The Papelbon deal is example number 4 billion in the list of contracts that have no effect on what other teams are willing or able to pay for other FAs on the market at the same position. Maybe, someday, people will stop saying such things…..but probably not, since that would mean they would have to pay attention to whether or not their expectations were met or not. When one team gives a guy a bad contract, that doesn’t make other teams not realize that such deals are horrible and start handing them out like candy.

  2. lpd1964 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    As a Reds fan, no loss in losing Cordero. The Reds overpaid for him when they intitally signed him and he wasn’t worth it. As for all of the so-called saves, this statistic is the most overrated one out there.

  3. proudlycanadian - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    He is 37, is still playing baseball and is making $4.5 million. Not bad for a part time job!

  4. seanmk - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    happy to be a setup guy? i guess he just doesn’t have the closer’s mentality anymore.

  5. cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    IMO The Bever Men’s biggest Achilles heel defensively (once Corey Patterson was sent off to get his WS ring. Thanks Mr. LaRussa: I was sick of that guy) was losing close games after the 7th inning. The were a ~50/50 team in the “closing” department. Anthopolous has gone overboard shoring that up, and all for cheap.

    That guy’s the new Billy Beane. The movie will be called “Canadian Dollar Ball” and a sand-blasted Ace Ventura will play Alex Anthopolous; a scrappy new GM in a frozen wasteland struggling to field a competitive team as the polar bears close in during the 24 hour nights. This, while using a currency underpinned by whale oil and seal blubber to lure the unsuspecting, non BSOL, south of the border talent into the Beaver Men’s Ice House. Will the Skydome Igloo melt before the Beaver Men win the Al East? Get your popcorn and stay tuned, sports fans.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      What? No Jays pitcher going to show up on your fantasy team??? Cur!!

      • cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Shhhh…this is known as “bluffing”…

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Are you channeling OG there cur?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      There weren’t enough crazy random long forgotten references from cur to sound like Gator ;)

      • cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        I admit, OG was what I was going for. However, my lifestyle is pretty short on the mind altering. I am but a pale imitation (and that, my friends, is the only time I have ever considered myself “pale”) of the master. Gimmie 20 more years, a more liberal attitude to co-eds, and an environment conducive to the proliferation of psychedelic excreting amphibians, and might get there.

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