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.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.