Results tagged ‘ Francisco Cordero ’

Angels have offer out to Ayala; nothing imminent

The Angels are one of “a handful of teams” that have tendered a formal offer to Luis Ayla, but a source familiar with the negotiations said the free-agent reliever is still weighing his options and a decision is not imminent.

It’s unclear at this point whether the Angels have offered a Major League or a Minor League contract, but they are believed to be in the mix along with the Orioles, Yankees, Astros and perhaps others. Considering he’s coming off a bounceback season with the Yankees, one that saw him post a 2.09 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP in 56 innings, the 34-year-old right-hander would likely command a Major League deal.

The Angels were among four teams interested in adding Francisco Cordero, but he wound up agreeing to terms on a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Cordero is reportedly headed to Toronto to serve as a setup man — a pretty clear indication that the Blue Jays’ offer trumped that of the Angels and other suitors.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Angels still in the mix to land Cordero

Free-agent closer Francisco Cordero expects to pick a team by the end of this week, and the Angels are one of four finalists for his services, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told MLB.com.

The identity of the other three clubs is not known at this point, but one of the four, the source said, is a championship-contending team looking to slot him in the eighth inning. That may be the Phillies, which could use a setup man for the recently signed Jonathan Papelbon. The Orioles have also reportedly been in touch. The Rays, which have a need in the ninth inning, are not one of those other three clubs, however.

At this point in the offseason, with the closer’s market dried up and a return to the Reds seemingly not possible, Cordero is open to signing a one-year deal, which would be huge for an Angels club that has already inked Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to long-term deals this offseason and doesn’t have much money to spend.

In Anaheim, Cordero would supplant 24-year-old Jordan Walden, who finished last year with a 2.98 ERA and 32 saves but fell off in September. Cordero, 36, is a three-time All-Star with a career 3.17 ERA and 327 saves. Last year with the Reds, he posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP, and converted 37 of his 43 save chances.

The market for Cordero has taken a while to develop, mostly because teams figured a return to Cincinnati was a foregone conclusion. Once Ryan Madson signed a bargain-rate one-year, $8.5 million deal to be the Reds’ closer, though, interest around the league intensified.

The Angels were one of the first teams to reach out to Cordero’s representative, Bean Stringfellow, and have been in touch throughout the offseason, according to a source. They’ve also been in touch with right-handed reliever Luis Ayala.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Angels have checked in on Cordero

The Angels have recently had dialogue with the representative for veteran closer Francisco Cordero — though they may only be in the periphery right now — an industry source familiar with the discussions told MLB.com.

The source pinned the market for Cordero as down to three or four teams, with the Angels and Reds being two of them. At this point, however, it’s hard to gauge where the Angels stand in that race considering the money they’ve spent this offseason and general manager Jerry Dipoto’s recent statements — that he already has a good ninth-inning man in Jordan Walden, and that finding a closer has never been a priority this offseason.

Cordero is only looking to go into a situation where he can close, and he’d probably have to take a big paycut or backloaded deal — or both — to find a fit in Southern California. All along, his former team, the Reds, have seemed to be the favorite for Cordero (as Reds reporter Mark Sheldon outlined recently). But the Angels checked in with his agent, Bean Stringfellow, within the first 24 hours of the free-agency period and up until two days ago, the source said.

Asked on Thursday about the chances of landing high-profile closer Ryan Madson, Dipoto called it “very unlikely,” adding: “Through the course of this offseason, we have never prioritized a closer, and while it’s certainly appealing to think about the option of adding a guy like Ryan Madson, it just doesn’t fit what we’re trying to do right now, and that’s from a variety of different perspectives.”

The 36-year-old Cordero, a three-time All-Star, has compiled a 3.17 ERA and 327 saves in his 13-year career. With the Reds in 2011, he posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP while converting 37 of his 43 save chances.

 – Alden Gonzalez 

Cordero and Reds still talking

There could be some movement, one way or another, in the next few days on free agent closer Francisco Cordero. The Reds are still in the running.

“We’re still talking with [Cincinnati] and a couple of other clubs,” Cordero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, said on Tuesday. “We’re making progress on a lot of fronts. Multi-year contracts are definitely involved.

“The Reds are involved and are still interested in bringing him back. I am talking with them on a regular basis.”

Stringfellow declined to detail the specific numbers being bandied about with the Reds in negotiations. It seemed like he was optimistic about where talks were going with the different clubs and that a deal was possible.

“It could be today or 10 days from now. I don’t know,” Stringfellow said. “I do know that we’re closer now than we’ve been. I don’t think it will carry on too much longer.”

– Mark Sheldon

Madson to Anaheim possible?

That still remains to be seen. But on Wednesday afternoon — after the Red Sox acquired Andrew Bailey from the Athletics in exchange for three young players — it became more possible than ever.

With the Red Sox, a team with money to spend, filling a huge need in the back end of its bullpen by acquiring the young Bailey, the market for Madson has reached a new low. It’s now pretty clear that the 31-year-old right-hander won’t get anything close to what the Phillies reportedly offered him before turning their attention to Jonathan Papelbon (a four-year, $44 million contract).

But just how much of a pay cut he takes is the big question.

It’d have to be a pretty sizeable one for the Angels to be a fit, now that the team has committed more than $330 million to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. But it’s interesting to note that Wilson turned down a larger contract from the Marlins in order to sign with the Angels and return to Orange County, Calif. — where Madson was also born.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said during the Winter Meetings that his mission was to “complement [closer] Jordan Walden, not replace Jordan Walden.” In tune with that, he signed veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins to potentially help lefty Scott Downs in a setup role. But getting Madson would be a far bigger step towards improving a bullpen that was tied for first in the American League in blown saves last season.

So far, it appears the Rays and Reds are the two main teams that still need a closer. But the Reds and Francisco Cordero reportedly want a reunion, and the Rays don’t have the financial wherewithal to allocate a lot of money to the ninth inning.

Time for Scott Boras to get creative with Madson.

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels may still be in play for bullpen help

Despite a lack of financial flexibility, the Angels continue to seek ways to address their bullpen situation.

Depending on his price, one option may be veteran closer Francisco Cordero. His agent, Bean Stringfellow, told WEEI.com on Tuesday that the Angels are one of four teams in play for the right-hander, along with the Reds — his former team, which reportedly wants him back — the Red Sox and a fourth, unidentified club.

Cordero is perhaps the best — and most expensive — free-agent reliever remaining after Ryan Madson, making the Angels the least likely fit among the above-mentioned clubs. Stringfellow told WEEI.com Cordero is looking for a multi-year deal and is only interested in going into a situation where he’s the clear-cut closer (which, in Anaheim, would mean the young Jordan Walden is supplanted).

The Angels have also reached out to the representative of former reliever Darren Oliver, a source familiar with his thinking told MLB.com. Oliver’s preference is to return to Texas, but is “not ruling out other contending teams,” the source said, adding that in order to accommodate the Angels, Oliver would be willing to defer most of his salary. Oliver put up a 2.29 ERA in 61 appearances last year, but is 41 and would give the Angels three lefties in the bullpen — along with Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.

Another interesting candidate is Joel Zumaya, the former Tigers flame-thrower who missed all of 2011 after undergoing exploratory surgery on his right (throwing) elbow. Zumaya performed in front of what was believed to be about 50 scouts in Houston last Wednesday, and some of them were members of the Angels, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed. Someone in attendance told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal he threw his fastball from 93-96 mph and had a decent curveball and OK command.

Some other, cheaper, right-handed options in the free-agent bin: Luis Ayala, Juan Cruz, Scott Linebrink, Dan Wheeler and Jamey Wright. Most of them, however, may not sign deals until more materializes later in the offseason. Sources told MLB.com the Angels have yet to reach out to Ayala or Wheeler in particular.

The Angels previously added LaTroy Hawkins — on a one-year, $3 million contract — in hopes of improving a bullpen that was tied for the American League lead in blown saves last season. Dipoto previously said he’s looking for someone to “complement Jordan Walden; not replace Jordan Walden.”

Alden Gonzalez 

Angels have yet to tender offers to closers

Contrary to what Heath Bell told The Los Angeles Times after his introductory press conference with the Miami Marlins on Monday, the Angels did not make an offer to the free-agent closer, general manager Jerry DiPoto said. In fact, DiPoto added, the Angels have yet to make any offers to any closers.

“We did not make an offer to Heath Bell,” DiPoto said from his suite at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. “We’ve gone into this, and to this point, exploring different options. One of those has not been making an offer to a ninth-inning guy.”

That would mean no offers for the likes of Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero or Francisco Rodriguez. While the Angels still want to add a back-end bullpen piece, the presence of Jordan Walden means finding a tenured (and rather expensive) closer isn’t the first priority.

Adding offense and starting pitching supersede that.

“I just don’t think it’s our primary need,” DiPoto said of closers. “If I were lining up the importance of what we need — and I won’t say it’s in a certain order, but I think the idea of a functionality offensively, or diversity in our offense, as well as an obvious void in our starting rotation, would take precendent over [a closer].”

– Alden  

Low-cost pitching options abound for Angels

The question is how long they’re willing to wait out the likes of C.J. Wilson and Ryan Madson. As The Los Angeles Times pointed out on Monday — Day 1 of the Winter Meetings — new general manager Jerry DiPoto plans to meet with Wilson’s agent here in Dallas. Frankly, why wouldn’t he? The real question is whether it’s possible — or even practical — for the Angels to fork over most of their remaining payroll on one arm, to address the best aspect of the team no less.

If they don’t want to go that route, or commit to Madson — remember, the Phillies reportedly offered four years at $44 million — there are a few low-cost options to be had.

Starting pitcher-wise, Mark Buehrle is the logical fit. Problem: A lot of teams want him, and he’s said to be looking for a no-trade clause as part of at least a three-year deal. Some other lefties to keep in mind: Jeff Francis (4.82 ERA in 31 starts for the Royals last year), Erik Bedard (3.62 ERA in 24 starts for the Red Sox and Mariners) and Paul Maholm (3.66 ERA in 26 starts for the Pirates).

As for the right-handed bullpen arms, there are plenty from which to choose. The most intriguing may be Octavio Dotel, because of how well he pitched down the stretch for the World Series-champion Cardinals and because of his experience as both a setup man and closer. Dotel (38) shifted from a Type A free agent to a Type B under the new CBA, so he won’t cost the team that signs him a Draft pick.

Some others: LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Cordero, Takahashi Saito, Frank Francisco, Mike MacDougal, Scott Linebrink and Luis Ayala, among a host of others.

– Alden Gonzalez

Cordero has drawn interest

Since the Reds declined the $12 million option on Francisco Cordero, the closer has been able to scan the  free agent market. It’s a market that features a lot of closers … one less now that the Phillies formally announced a four-year, $50 million deal with ex-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.

The closer market glut apparently hasn’t curbed the suitors for Cordero.

“We’ve had probably seven or eight teams inquire with interest, a couple of more since Papelbon’s deal,” Cordero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, said on Monday. “It’s all ongoing and it’s still early.

“There’s been strong interest, including from the Reds.”

Other closers out there include Ryan Madson, Heath Bell, Joe Nathan, Francisco Rodriguez, Frank Francisco, Matt Capps, Jonathan Broxton and Brad Lidge.

Cordero is still interested in returning to the Reds, Stringfellow said. But if he doesn’t, I can’t see the free agent averse Reds in spending a truckload to get one of the big names on the market.

– Mark Sheldon

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 651 other followers