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With spring training just underway, the Boston Red Sox have potentially added some depth to the bullpen by signing former closer Francisco Cordero to a minor league deal.
That’s a very big “potentially.” While he has over 300 career saves and arrives with the benefit of having played for John Farrell before, Cordero hasn’t pitched in a year. His last season, 2012 with the Toronto Blue Jays (41 appearances) and Houston Astros (6), was a hot mess: two saves, three blown saves, and a 7.55 ERA (19.88 with Houston). Oh, and he’s 38 years old. Something tells me he won’t be in the mix for any Comeback Player of the Year awards.
That said, nobody expected Koji Uehara to become the Red Sox closer last season, let alone submit one of the greatest seasons by a reliever in baseball history. He obviously came to Boston on a major league contract with the expectation of being the primary set-up man out of the ‘pen, but the central premise remains the same: you never know what’s going to happen with or to your bullpen. Since it’s unclear which reliever may perform well in a given year, and impossible to predict who will stay healthy, adding bullpen depth is crucial, even in the form of a lottery ticket/emergency contingency plan.
Cordero is that lottery ticket/emergency contingency plan: You never know, but you hate to find out. So while some people may feel it’s a shot in the dark and others think it’s a shrewd signing, technically you’re both right. But we can all agree that we hope to never discover how the Red Sox signing Francisco Cordero turns out.