Cordero is one of a long line of non-roster invitees the Red Sox have invited to camp, in an effort to bolster one of baseball’s strongest bullpens. If he does in fact make the team, he would join Edward Mujica and Koji Uehara on the roster as pitchers with closing experience.
Cordero spent seven seasons as the primary closer for the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds between 2004 and 2011. A three-time all-star, his best year was in 2004 with Texas as he saved 49 games, fanning 79 in 71.2 innings and posting an ERA of 2.13.
For his career, Cordero has notched 329 saves in 800 appearances, good for 13th all-time.
Boston, who seemingly only has one or two spots open for the bullpen, is trying to find an insurance policy if Uehara cannot match his magical run from last year. Primarily a starter for most of his career, he did close one season for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Pacific Coast League in 2007 and for a short stint with the Baltimore Orioles in 2010.
From everything the Red Sox have either said or implied, Uehara is the closer going into 2014. However, with Uehara being the fourth pitcher last season to play the role of closer, Boston is not going to take any chances heading into this year.
Cordero has not pitched professionally since 2012.
Released after a disastrous stint with the Houston Astros, it seemed like Cordero’s accomplished career was over. Coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays towards the end of the season, he pitched six times for Houston, poorly. With an ERA of 19.80, the decision to release him after the season was an easy one.
If he can get hitters out still, on the other hand, there is no reason why he could not end up on the big club. No longer the strikeout artist he once was, if Cordero can either come out of the pen in the middle innings to bridge the gap to Uehara or close an occasional game then the price will have been more than right.
*All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.
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