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.
Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. has gotten a lot of press lately and for good reason. He has absolutely torched Double-A pitching so far this season, entering Sunday’s doubleheader batting .407/.456/.676 with seven home runs and 41 RBI in 170 plate appearances.
Guerrero stayed hot, going 4-for-4 in the first game of the doubleheader, ending it in the bottom of the seventh inning — doubleheaders in the minors can be two seven-inning affairs — with a two-run homer.
Guerrero started off the back end of the doubleheader with an RBI single in the first inning, so he’s overall 5-for-5 with four RBI on the day as of this writing. He also now has 21 multi-hit games out of 39 total games this season. Today’s performance marked his second four-hit game; his other one occurred last Wednesday.
MLB Pipeline ranks Guerrero as the No. 1 prospect in the Jays’ system and No. 2 overall in baseball behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuña. The Jays may be forced to summon Guerrero to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like this. In a similar situation, the Nationals promoted hot-hitting 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto earlier today after just 35 plate appearances at Double-A, skipping Triple-A entirely.