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  1. The guy had a lousy 2010.

    But other than that, he pretty consistently puts up 2.0 +- .5 bWAR.

    I’d take a flyer on that for a year or two at 10 mil.

    Comment by Brian — January 12, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  2. Cordero is the poster child for why using past run prevention to project future performance is a bad idea.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — January 12, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  3. His 2011 was accomplished largely due to smoke and mirrors. Probably a bit of luck coupled with having an excellent defense behind him. His xFIP of 4.14 is probably more indicative of future performance than his 2.45 ERA. His BABIP was .214, which is completely unsustainable. Maybe he figured something out to get his GB% up 7% higher than his career average, but I’d be very reticent to give Coco more than $4mil AAV for 2 years.

    Comment by manbearpig — January 12, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  4. Was like 95% confident this post was just going to say

    “because he’s not good.”

    Comment by AndyS — January 12, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  5. I think he did figure something out… A 7% spike in GB% and a career low in BB%. It’s the first time in his career that he wasn’t a fastball pitcher.

    He basically replaced about 20+% of his below average fastballs with more effective off-speed pitches. He was a totally different pitcher. As far as relief pitchers go, only a handful throw the fastball with less frequency. It’ll be interesting to see how a new team might handle him, and if his fastball continues to dwindle, will he become an even more extreme off speed pitcher.

    Comment by baty — January 12, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  6. Congrats on kicking cancer in the nuts!

    Comment by delv — January 12, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  7. Mr. Cameron,
    Congrats on the positive medical report. Best of luck to you.

    Comment by FFFFan — January 12, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  8. Nice article. I agree he’s done as an elite closer. But I had no idea just how good a run he’s had over the last 10 years.

    From 2002-2011, Cordero is 2nd in Saves (327), behind Rivera of course (388). And he is 4th in WAR when I scan the saves leader chart. Rivera (23.6), K-Rod (16.4), Nathan (16.2), Cordero (15.6).

    Comment by Kevin — January 12, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  9. I think there’s too much causation inferred here anyway.

    His success at turning batted balls into outs, to me seems like more of a driving factor of the decline in K rates than a down turn in average fastball velocity.

    If you were throwing changeups and FB strikes and hitters were only getting hits 23% of the time when they made contact, why not continue to throw them? I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts off unlucky on batted balls in 2012, and suddenly starts throwing a little harder, trying for more K’s.

    Lincecum, for example, suffered approximately the same drop in average velocity, and saw his K’s go up.

    Comment by The Real Neal — January 12, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  10. Cordero performance was better last year because he changed his pitching style. Stats without analysis can be faulty. As a Reds fan I have watched Cordero pitch. He went from trying to get hitters to chase pitches when ahead to going after hitters. Hence less ks since some players would chase others would layoff working walks or having him give them a good pitch to hit. He also allowed one of the best defenses to work in his favor. His nibbling in the past would drive me crazy and lead to more runners and runs. (babip is better in pitcher counts)

    If you look at last year he imporved his swing and miss % from 8 to 10%. He also has reduced contract in and out of zone. He also relied less on FB. You could say he was K unlucky last year.

    I believe he could have a similiar type year this year (a little worse but still solid) . On another team I could see the babip go up

    Comment by Patrick Brame — January 12, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  11. If he really cares about pitching the 9th inning, I bet the Mets would sign him for about 1.4 mil plus incentives

    Comment by Astromets — January 12, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  12. Just playing devil’s advocate here, there are elite level relievers that have managed to remain effective in to their forties, though not obviously at an elite level. Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes come to mind, if you want to expand the general idea to starters, how about Jamie Moyer? Smart pitchers, or those that maybe have a decent coach will change their approaches.

    If anything the fact that he added a somewhat effective curve would prove some ability to adapt to the loss of his fastball. Its better to be one of those types that scares the hell out of you as a fan when they bring him in but still manages to post good numbers, than just plain bad, isn’t it?

    Comment by Larry Bernandez — January 12, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

  13. Any fan of the NL Central would tell you Francisco was getting close to the end. He always seemed to be more lucky than good the last two years

    Comment by Harv — January 12, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  14. congrats on the positive news, Dave.

    Comment by Josh — January 13, 2012 @ 1:01 am

  15. I feel more comfortable with Frank^2, which says a lot.

    Comment by Josh — January 13, 2012 @ 1:03 am

  16. Eh, honestly I think it’s mostly a supply and demand thing. If he and Papelbon were the only free agents, despite his pretty awful secondary stats, I’m sure he could have gotten a 2/$15.

    But since there are so many closers out there, especially ones with plus strikeout numbers, he’s kind of in purgatory.

    Comment by Michael F — January 13, 2012 @ 2:05 am

  17. Francisco Cordero, RHP
    Darren Oliver, LHP
    Arthur Rhodes, LHP
    Jaime Moyer, LHP

    One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things just doesn’t belong,
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?

    Comment by walt526 — January 13, 2012 @ 5:04 am

  18. I’m very happy with the upgrade to Madson, of course. I definitely appreciate that Cordero’s approach changed in accordance with his previously high walk rates (he averaged about 35 total walks over the last 3 years). He had 22 in 2011, knocking his whip down. He may have a similar season with great defense, but will likely regress from his 2011 numbers regardless. For the Reds, it was a season that made them feel a little better about his contract.

    I don’t know if Cordero wants to have a longer career – he’s made a lot of money – but he might be a guy who could stretch out and pitch in lower leverage innings if he can do what he did last year (throw 93 with decent offspeed stuff, throwing strikes).

    Comment by Matt McWax — January 13, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  19. Moyer is light skinned?

    Comment by Eric — January 14, 2012 @ 1:32 am

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