It seems like everybody has already decided that Ryan Madson is the big loser in the game of musical chairs among free agent closers, but don’t forget that Francisco Cordero is also out there looking for a job.
The Reds acquired left-hander Sean Marshall from the Cubs last week, giving them a potential cost-effective alternative for the closer role, so Cordero is hurting for leverage at the moment. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday that the veteran right-hander currently has a one-year offer on the table to return.
“We’ve made an offer,” he said. “He’s deciding what to do. He’s got a couple of other offers.”
No word on the details of the Reds’ offer, but Fay guesses that it’s likely for $7 million or less.
Cordero, who turns 37 in May, earned $12.125 million this past season while posting a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves over 68 appearances. While he averaged a career-low 5.43 K/9 and showed decreased velocity, he also averaged 2.84 BB/9 — his best mark since 2002 — and induced ground balls at a career-high rate of 50 percent. The Reds declined his $12 million club option for 2012 in late-October.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.