Francisco Cordero to Blue Jays: The 2nd Closer Casualty of the 2011 Offseason
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Things I don't understand in life:
Rubberneckers. (How is your schedule such a joke that you can slow to a crawl while driving in hopes of seeing somebody's head roll?)
Spiders. (Really. They have no purpose.)
Closers turning down mega money—and getting burned for it.
With this breaking news—Francisco Cordero inked a one-year deal to become the setup man in Toronto—comes the second installment of a quirky, confusing and comical trend:
Closers are completely oblivious to their value.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Cordero signed on for one year and $4.5 million.
No, no—don't overthink it.
It's not a lot.
Like at all.
Not even for Cordero, who blew 6-of-43 saves with the Reds last season (a super pessimistic way of writing he went 37-for-43 in save ops ... sorry I'm not sorry).
Well, maybe in this context: He reportedly turned his nose up at two offers to re-sign with the Reds this offseason thinking he'd get better money and opportunity outside of Cincinnati.
Turns out, Cordy was wrong on two fronts.
Not only didn't he touch that neighborhood—the deals were reportedly worth $12 million over two years, and, later, $7 million for one—Cordero couldn't even find a closing gig.
That's kind of surprising, given that, just hours ago, two of the presumed finalists for his services, the Angels and Orioles, would have made him their last man standing.
Had he went to Los Angeles (of Anehiem), he'd have tapped in for Jorden Walden (blew 10 saves). Samesies for the Orioles.
(Note: The Phillies were also reportedly in the running, looking for someone to warm the hill for $50 million man Jonathan Papelbon.)
It's baffling. How could Cordero, 36, really think he'd clean up in what seemed a stingy closer market.
Just ask Ryan Madson about that.
This starts to make that cryptic, sort-of offer the Phillies may or may not have offered (that may or may not have been pulled, or rejected) Madson last November look like the least lucrative trend setter in recent league memory.
In case you forgot: That might-have-been deal was possibly worth $44 million over four years. Perhaps.
Why? Hard to say.
Was the closer market skewed?
If so, by what?
And how would that explain the Papelbon deal? It's reasonable to believe that newbie big spender Ruben Amaro might have reached a Stretch Armstrongian reach for the ages (and the Apollo).
But it's more likely that some level of interest from some team, somewhere, inflated Papelbon's asking price, even if only with false bids or reports or some other artificial pump.
And the only other notable closer signings, Joel Hanrahan (Pirates) and Daniel Bard (Red Sox) were the product of arbitration hearings. So no, deals of $4.1 million and $1.62 million shouldn't have been cautionary tales, especially since they didn't happen long enough to serve as warnings.
Needless to say, we're gonna have to call in an expert on this one.
And by "we" I mean "you."
Or Darren Rovell. Whoever's easier to get.
Matt Hammond is a producer for 97.3 ESPN Radio Atlantic City, and writes for 973ESPN.com. He's also the founder of the sports blog ThoughtsInPassing.com. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattHammond973.
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