To hell with Francisco Cordero
I thought waiting 24 hours after Coco Cordero signing with the Cincinnati Reds would be enough time for me to cool down and then give my thoughts on the signing. The truth is, I could wait all winter until Opening Day and I'd still be pretty bitter towards Cordero for doing what he did.
I wanted Cordero back with the Brewers as bad as anyone. When I heard General Manager Doug Melvin's offer I was quite surprised. After the season, I thought a four-year, $40 million deal would be enough to bring Cordero back.
Coco was on record saying that he liked Milwaukee, thought they would be competitive, was happy with how the fans treated him and as long as he received a competitive offer, he'd be back in Milwaukee for the 2008 season.
Milwaukee offered even better than what I thought they would by throwing out a four-year, $42 million deal, with a $13 million option for a fifth year. Cincinnati won the Cordero sweepstakes with a four-year, $46 million deal, with a $12 million fifth year option.
For those that struggle with their math, that's a one million dollar a year difference over the length of the deal. I realize that baseball is a business and it's ALWAYS about the money, but honestly, a million dollars a year isn't that much.
I have no ill will towards GM Doug Melvin for not making the deal with Coco. Even if Cordero had taken the Brewers' offer, that is still far too much to pay for a closer.
So good luck to you Francisco Cordero. You are a liar and a hypocrite for what you said in the media at the end of the season. You are going to a team that was not competitive last year and still has major issues with both starting and relief pitching. You turned your career around in Milwaukee, but you still struggled away from Miller Park. You now have a full year of pitching away from there and you now face the challenge of pitching in hitter friendly Great American Ballpark. I just don't see it ending well for you Coco. Good riddance.
This now leaves Melvin with several options for his 2008 closer role. He can go with Derrick Turnbow who has been the team's closer in the past. I would personally be fine with Turnbow moving back to that role, however much of the fan base would simply not stand for that. Melvin can always sign a free agent or make a trade for someone to fit the bill. An idea I like is trading Tony Gwynn Jr. to the Texas Rangers for Joaquin Benoit. I think Benoit could come in and be dominant as the shutdown man for the Crew.
The other thing this does is give the Brewers salary flexibility for their future. JJ Hardy, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart could all be in line for long-term contracts which is more important to the team's long-term future that Cordero. Dave Bush, Chris Capuano, Claudio Vargas and Bill Hall have all drawn interest from other teams as trading chips and could net a closer as well as an answer to the left field question.