The Reds hold a $12 million option on closer Francisco Cordero. They want him back. He wants to stay. So it makes sense that they’re in talks with him right now over his future with the team. A future that, given that they’re talking and not just exercising the option, probably means a two-year deal at a lower per annum.
Cordero has had a pretty darn good year for the Reds, with a 2.53 ERA and a 0.975 WHIP in 66 appearances. While a $12 million outlay for a closer is a lot, the failure of Aroldis Chapman to build on his 2010 success likely has the Reds mindful of how valuable a sure-thing closer can be. And if they can break that money up over a couple of years it will be much easier to take.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.