Jays Bring Chad Cordero Into RP Competition


What a great low risk and potentially high value addition to the Jays relief competition. The Jays added Chad “The Chief” Cordero to their plethora of relievers who are going to attempt to break camp with the Jays in ’11.

The Good

  • Chad Cordero has a proven track record, is still young (he’ll begin the ’11 season at 29 years old) and has been a closer in MLB, saving 47 games for the Nationals in ’05.
  • He comes cheap and will likely be on a minor league deal, which means that he represents depth first, with a possibility to be brought up if required or performance warrants it.
  • Even if he doesn’t make it to The Show with the Jays, he will bring experience and a settling influence to the AAA Las Vegas squad. Any time you can bring a guy in who struck out 9.1 hitters per 9 innings and only walked 2.3 per 9 IP, you’re adding a quality performer who will get you through some tough times.
  • The point above means that the risk of this deal is minute.

The Bad

  • Any time you take a chance on a pitcher who is coming off a torn labrum surgery, you know you’re taking a big risk. The chances of The Chief having a prolonged healthy career from this point forward are small to say the least, but, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some decent mound time from him yearly if he can get his velocity and stuff back.
  • Any time you bring in an arm like Cordero’s to play (likely in AAA), you’re taking a RP spot away from a young guy, which means that someone who could be a little less risky in terms of health could have that spot. Still, every pitcher is a health risk, so that is negated by this fact.

The Outstanding

  • Even though he’s a RHP, Chad Corderogets LHBs out at a great rate, something that the current pen makeup really lacks. This means that if the Jays do bring him into the pen, they can decide to use him as a LHB specialist. That’s a possible huge boost to a pen that needs it.
  • His career line vs LHB: 588 LHB batters faced, 144 Ks, 77 walks, and a .219/.312/.342 line against.
  • He’s already had time to adjust to his post-surgery strength issues while pitching in the Mariners and Mets systems, which means that if he does turn the corner, this would be the time!
  • The last 10 games pitched in AAA have him holding a 1-1 record with a 1.86 ERA, 9.2 IP, 10 Ks, 8 HA, and 3 walks with hitters hitting a mere .229 against him. The fact that he was strong at the end of the season bodes well for a good start in ’11, as he should be stronger so long as he’s still healthy.
  • He’ll join Dustin McGowan as long-shot possibilities for the back of the ’11 pen and future closer if his stuff returns at a high enough level.

I don’t see how anyone can view this as a bad move by Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays. He should get a good long look in spring training and will get a shot if he performs well.

– MG

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