It was reported today that the Mariners signed well-worn right-handed pitcher Jamey Wright and assigned him to the team.
In order to clear roster space, the M’s optioned right-handed pitcher Chad Cordero to Triple-A Tacoma, but Cordero elected to become a free agent rather than accept the minor league assignment.
It’s not a move I understand at all.
With Wright, 35, you know exactly what you are getting, and it isn’t very good.
Wright was released by the Indians after 18 appearances, in which he posted a 5.48 ERA with terrible ratios.
Wright has a career ERA of 5.03 over 16 Major League seasons.
After being released by the Indians, he made 10 relief appearances for the Oakland Athletics' Triple-A team in Sacramento, and he didn’t pitch well there either (9.00 ERA with 23 hits, nine walks, and 16 Ks in 14 IP).
Wright opted out of his minor league contract to sign with the Mariners.
Meanwhile, 28-year-old Chad Cordero is working his way back from the major arm injury he had in 2008, when he had surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Labrum tears are now generally harder to come back from than blown elbow tendons because shoulder injuries more often result in reduced velocity after surgery and rehabilitation.
Cordero hadn’t pitched well for the M’s this year (6.52 ERA in 9.2 IP with 10 hits and five walks allowed and six Ks), but that’s no worse than what Wright did in Cleveland this year.
Cordero also made 17 appearances at Triple-A Tacoma this year, where he posted an unimpressive 4.12 ERA but had fine peripheral numbers (19.2 IP, 19 hits, and four walks allowed, and 22 Ks).
That’s far better than Wright’s work at Triple-A Sacramento.
Unlike Wright, Cordero was once a great pitcher, and Cordero is still young enough to make a comeback.
Why a going-nowhere club like the 2010 Mariners would essentially elect to trade in a 28-year-old pitcher with great upside for a 35-year-old pitcher who was never very good to begin with, I simply don’t understand.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants should give serious consideration to making Cordero an offer—particularly if he is willing to pitch two weeks at Triple-A Fresno first so he can show he’s still got something.
The Giants could use another right-handed middle reliever, given the command problems many of their middle relievers have had.
While it’s likely that at least one Major League team will offer Cordero a Major League job without a Triple-A audition first, the Giants can offer Cordero the chance to play on a contender by the end of July.