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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Reds - Signed Cordero

Cincinnati Reds - Have reportedly signed P Francisco Cordero to a 4-year, $46 million contract.

Actually, I’m not going to pile onto this signing at all.  Does this push the Reds into serious contention?  Probably not.  Is it a bad signing given the realities of the market and the current situation the Reds are in?  No.

The Reds were going to spend some money this offseason.  Pitching of any type is a must for them and of all the pitchers on the free agent market this offseason, Cordero’s arguably the best at keeping runs off the scoreboard.  There aren’t a lot of other needs that the Reds can comfortably attain on the market this winter and it addresses one of the most important things to do to maximize the value Dusty has with a team - present him a fait accompli as many places as you can.  The most cost-effective way to build a closer is to grow them yourself, but given that Dusty will be the manager for at least 2 years, does anyone put faith in Dusty to evaluate a bunch of relievers or unsuccessful starters and figure out who has the best chance of long-term success?  That’s not what Dusty’s for.  Give Baker a team in which everyone knows who’s starting and there’s no secondary viable option anywhere and Baker does pretty well.  That’s also, of course, part of the problem because then your team doesn’t have a lot of depth and injuries really hurt, but Dusty really can’t be trusted to not confuse starters with solid backups.

I think for the Reds, this was the best signing of $11.5 million a year they could come up with.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Francisco Cordero
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 5   2 71   0   70   61   26   5 27 80 3.34
2009?    5   3 73   0   72   64   27   5 27 78 3.37
2010?    5   2 71   0   70   63   26   5 26 75 3.34
2011?    5   2 71   0   71   65   27   5 25 73 3.42
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  6   2 76   0   78   62   22   4 23 95 2.54
Pes. (15%)  3   3 59   0   56   54   26   6 25 61 4.18
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Robb Nen, Troy Percival

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 24, 2007 at 03:12 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 24, 2007 at 04:20 PM (#2624150)
If ZiPS is right, it is a pretty good signing. That bullpen needs someone who can fill the role of "reliever who doesn't suck".
   2. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: November 24, 2007 at 05:39 PM (#2624189)
Does anyone expect Todd Coffey to bounce back? He was VERY hittable last year but his previous year was pretty solid.
   3. Valentine Posted: November 24, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2624191)
Those are surprisingly (to me) strong projections. Would have expected to see more decline in the numbers.

If you figure a good closer is as valuable as an average starter, then the money is about right. And the Reds are DESPERATE for relief pitching. With this deal, their pen is now three-deep (if they trust Burton).
   4. Honkie Kong Posted: November 24, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2624192)
With this deal, their pen is now three-deep (if they trust Burton)

The corpse of Stanton spews worms at you and shouts HAR!
   5. Valentine Posted: November 24, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2624193)
I would anticipate a mid-4's ERA at best from Coffey. He's always been hittable and even in his "good" year ran a high WHIP.
   6. alpascale Posted: November 24, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2624276)
I agree with Valentine. The way Dusty ruined the young arms in Chicago I wouldn't be surprised to see Cordero's numbers decline over time as well.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2624280)
I also thought this was a good deal. If Cincy can fill a few holes with cheap talent, and get a few bounces, they could compete in the Central.
   8. kwarren Posted: November 24, 2007 at 10:10 PM (#2624334)

If you figure a good closer is as valuable as an average starter


There is not way anybody should ever figure this. Relievers with ERA(s) below 3.00 are a dime a dozen. The only problem is figuring out who they are going to be. I don't know how you are defining "average starter", but if you're talking about a typical team's #3 starter you would need an elite closer to get anywhere near the same value.

If Cincy can fill a few holes with cheap talent, and get a few bounces, they could compete in the Central.

I think that Brewer's are head and shoulders the best bet in the NL Central. And the Reds are also a long way behind of Cubs. Of course who knows what impact Jay Bruce may have, or even how much he will play.

But the Brewer's have Sheets, Gallardo, Capuano, Parra, Bush, Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Braun, Hart, & Hall. This is a rather impressive collection of young talent.
   9. mlbfan303 Posted: November 24, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2624366)
The big 4 in prospects, Bruce/Bailey/Cueto/Votto will be pre-arb or 1 year into arb by the last season Cordero is there.
These guys are all top 30 prospects in baseball right now and could all be all-star caliber players.
   10. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 25, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2624386)
The big 4 in prospects, Bruce/Bailey/Cueto/Votto will be pre-arb or 1 year into arb by the last season Cordero is there.
These guys are all top 30 prospects in baseball right now and could all be all-star caliber players.


Won't Dusty still be there in the last year of Cordero's deal?
   11. Valentine Posted: November 25, 2007 at 02:14 AM (#2624408)
There is not way anybody should ever figure this. Relievers with ERA(s) below 3.00 are a dime a dozen. The only problem is figuring out who they are going to be.

Ah, that's the rub. ERA is a highly volatile statistic, especially for relievers. A single three-run home run, averaged over 60 innings, raises the ERA by 45 points. Thus in any given season there are a number of relievers with ERAs under 3.00, but the number who can be expected to post an ERA under 3.00 is very small. Another way of saying this is that most of the relievers with ERAs under 3.00 are not truly that good -- just lucky. For example, Javier Lopez and Aaron Fultz had a better ERA+ than Cordero last year (43rd among relievers in 2007). All that means is that their bullpen mates bailed them out of jams more often than not.

A quick sort on the CHONE projections for 2008 suggests that Cordero (who himself doesn't project to an ERA below 3.00) is roughly the 17th best reliever in the majors. That's definitely not "dime a dozen" range, not when guys like Linebrink (projected 4.30 ERA) are getting $19M deals.

Another way of looking at it -- Cordero's +18.6 VORP in 2007 is almost identical to Byrd, the 75th best pitcher by VORP (120+ innings). Of course Byrd's 2.5 SNLVAR doesn't quite live up to Cordero's 3.2 WXRL, because Cordero pitches higher-leverage innings.

Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Braun, Hart, & Hall

Ah, but do they have anybody who knows how to use a glove?!? They will have a very hard time winning with their current defensive set. Almost doesn't matter how many runs they score, because their pitchers will be exhausted by the end of the season.
   12. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 25, 2007 at 02:52 AM (#2624415)
Won't Dusty still be there in the last year of Cordero's deal?

After the two world titles, of course he'll still be there.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: November 25, 2007 at 03:04 AM (#2624418)
does anyone put faith in Dusty to evaluate a bunch of relievers or unsuccessful starters and figure out who has the best chance of long-term success?

Ryan Dempster.

Those are surprisingly (to me) strong projections. Would have expected to see more decline in the numbers.

Me too, for a guy's age 33-36 seasons.

I can't get too worked up about this signing one way or the other. I've got nothing better for the Reds to spend $11.5 M on right now either. Just don't like long-term, big money contracts for relievers in general -- but Cordero has been quite consistently good. As long as the Reds don't poormouth when some high draft pick demands a signing bonus and as long as they don't realize that next year's FA class has the perfect player for them (whoever that might be) but they can't afford him because of this contract, then it looks like no harm, no foul.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: November 25, 2007 at 03:10 AM (#2624421)
Hmmm, just peeked at the Linebrink projections, and he's pretty much constant over 4 years too. Is this a reliever thing? ZIPS just doesn't have enough sample (e.g. Cordero has just 506 career IP, 279 in the last 4) and the comps probably bounce all over the place, that it just shoots for the middle of the random walk and gives it a wide CI?
   15. BeanoCook Posted: November 25, 2007 at 03:14 AM (#2624423)
Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Braun, Hart, & Hall

Ah, but do they have anybody who knows how to use a glove?!? They will have a very hard time winning with their current defensive set. Almost doesn't matter how many runs they score, because their pitchers will be exhausted by the end of the season.


Hardy is sure-handed and at worst average.

Regarding H Bailey, I am unimpressed. He looks like a high pitch count innings muncher that will be transitioned to the bullpen when he is with his 3rd team.
   16. Valentine Posted: November 25, 2007 at 03:43 AM (#2624434)
Regarding H Bailey, I am unimpressed.

I recall some suggestion by one of the BP writers that something is wrong with him? Certainly his K/BB went in the toilet last year -- even his AAA strikeout rate was not as strong as I would have expected. Don't know what to expect of him next year, but at this point it is laughable to consider him on par with Buchholz or Hughes or Gallardo. He may still have that kind of potential, but there are good reasons for concern as well.

Hardy is sure-handed and at worst average.

Hart seems to be a good fielder as well, at least for one of the corners. But Hall looked bad in CF, while Braun, Weeks, and Fielder are all among the worst defensive players at their respective positions. Unless his defense improves, Braun is barely better than an average 3B. (He'd be a star DH, of course.) I don't know the solution to this, but I'm pretty sure that adding Kendall and LaPorta to the mix isn't going to help.
   17. Jamal Touch em All Posted: November 25, 2007 at 04:20 AM (#2624456)
Has anyone in the history of ZiPS ever had 4 years that look as identical as those 4? It basically says he will be the exact same player at 36 as 33.
   18. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 25, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2624482)
Hmmm, just peeked at the Linebrink projections, and he's pretty much constant over 4 years too. Is this a reliever thing? ZIPS just doesn't have enough sample (e.g. Cordero has just 506 career IP, 279 in the last 4) and the comps probably bounce all over the place, that it just shoots for the middle of the random walk and gives it a wide CI?


I think it gives a wide confidence interval and shows the volatility of relievers. Predicting reliever success is still very hard to do.
   19. BeanoCook Posted: November 25, 2007 at 06:43 AM (#2624505)
Has anyone in the history of ZiPS ever had 4 years that look as identical as those 4? It basically says he will be the exact same player at 36 as 33


Yes, very odd. I think #18 points out that you do need to analyze more than one line, you need to consider OPT and PESS projections and be prepared for each to alternate over a 4 year period.
   20. spycake Posted: November 28, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2626639)
Has anyone in the history of ZiPS ever had 4 years that look as identical as those 4?

Maybe he's the Gene Larkin of pitchers.
   21. Spute Posted: November 30, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2628737)
Yikes. Krivsky pursues relievers like Prince Fielder pursues a ham sandwich.

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