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Cordero -- Entering an Unknown Spot

Check out this list of 2009 free agents. Here, Chad Cordero is the first closer listed. But for the first time in his life, he's no longer a closer. With a career bulldozed back to ground zero by a torn labrum, Cordero has abandoned the notion that he will be any team's closer any time soon. Really, he just wants a team that wants him -- "a team willing to take a risk on me," he said.

Later this week, Cordero will drive from his beachside California home to a rehab center in Anaheim, right across the street from the Angels' ballpark. That's where Dr. Lewis Yocum sends his patients, and since July, Cordero has been a patient, not a pitcher. Since his July reconstructive shoulder surgery, he hasn't thrown a baseball. That will change when he arrives at the rehab center.

"I can't wait," Cordero said. "But I'm real anxious."

At first, Cordero will take it real easy. He'll throw from 40 feet at the rehab center. But within a month, Cordero said, he hopes to throw from a mound. Maybe by mid-March he can throw in an actual baseball game. What team he's playing for at that point remains to be seen, but Cordero, who became a free agent at the end of last week, is closing no doors. His bitterness toward GM Jim Bowden, who in July said on radio that the team would non-tender the closer at year's end, has dissipated. Even with Bowden as GM, Cordero would consider signing a minor league deal with the Nats.

"I'm not going to just close the book on them," Cordero said. "Of course I want to come back... For me, I just want something that's fair. I understand I'm not going to go out there and break the bank. It will be something incentive based, and I totally understand that."

That said, Cordero wouldn't mind staying out on the West Coast -- particularly in his native state of California. His wife is expecting their first child in May, and being around full time as a parent would be "kind of cool," Cordero said.

But Cordero realizes that he's a reclamation project. He just wants a team willing to give him a chance. His shoulder doesn't hurt any longer, but he still cannot lift weights over his head. He's forbidden from using the bench press machine. (A blessing in disguise, Cordero joked.) He has no idea how his arm will respond to throwing, or where his velocity will be, or whether he'll ever regain it.

Said Cordero: "I have to go out there and prove I'm healthy."

By Chico Harlan  |  November 3, 2008; 5:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

OMG! A THREE-POSTER? WHO KNEW?

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 3, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to sign and nurture Cordero back to health. He 's 18 months away from being able to contribute, but sign and coach.

As for the Dominican signings, its nicce to see any activity there at all. The Nats seemed frozen in their tracks for a while so perhaps this is a sign that they are moving forward appropriately.

And with regard to the trade, I wonder what they saw and didn't see respectively. 22 year old lefty for 25 year old righty seems odd on the face of it, but perhaps they see something they like in the new guy or something they don't in the old.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 3, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I know the anti-Bowden crowd will howl if the Nats sign Adam Dunn, but I think he would be good addition for the Nats. He forces pitchers to thow more pitches, he strikes out alot but also walks alot and would hit 30+ HR for the Nats. He's not a great outfielder, but he would provide badly needed protection in the lineup.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 3, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Chico. But at this point, really, why bother? There's nothing here that wasn't already reported several days ago by Nats320 and/or Bill Ladson. Wake us when you have some real news to report - while it's still news.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 3, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the post, Chico.

I agree on both comments, natbisquit--the trade and Dunn. Even if you put Dunn at first base, he probably wouldn't be a worse fielder than Jacobs, who at least a few on here pere pining for. In addition, he gets on base more often. And the 22 year old lefty reliever for the 25 year old righty (likely) reliever doesn't make a lot of sense on its face.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 4, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to hear that Cordero's issues w/ Bowden are at an end. I think he's an excellent risk for the Nationals to take. If we were to offer a $500k minor league contract with games/innings pitched incentives to take him up to a max of $4M (what he'd make in arbitration) i think he'd have to take it.

Dunn would be a good deal but I doubt he'll take less than a 4yr $50M deal, and I don't think the Nats want that. More likely would be a prospect-laden trade for Matt Holliday. Reports on other websites about our interest/ability to sign Tiexera or Fielder I can't believe will come to pass.

Posted by: tboss | November 4, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

wow! where is everybody... crickets out there. is it the lack of news, second hand news appearing here? hardly a yawn on the NJ. (or maybe is watching a different section of the paper until tomorrow!)

Posted by: 1of9000 | November 4, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is in line to vote I guess this morning!

My thoughts:
- Dunn - Not sure he would be enough of an upgrade over (a hopefully rejuenated) Kearns considering how much more he would cost. Would rather have Tex, Abreu, Burrell.
- Trade for a bat - for sure if it doesn't cost us too much and the player we get fits in long-term (Holliday/Fielder and A pitcher for Chico, Kearns, Alaniz, Smoker, and $ would work as long as Holliday/Fielder signs long term).
- Avery for Buchter - eh - at least we're doing something
- international signings - see above
- Cordero - eh - time to move on

Posted by: goexpos2 | November 4, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Please Bowden leave. Dunn hit in a bandbox - did we not learn anything from Lopez, Kearns, Wagner and last but not least Bowden. For that matter get rid of all Reds influence, including Boone

Posted by: mjames0 | November 4, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn's production numbers have nothing to do with playing in Cincy, power like his doesn't need a band box. Look at these numbers for '08;

Here is Cincy;
Home: .359obp .488slg .229avg
Away: .388obp .576slg .238avg
Here is 'Zona;
Home: .409opb .507slg .225avg
Away: .426obp .438slg .260avg

Also he had 16 HRs each home and away for Cincy (5 home and 3 away for ARI).

Note that his SLG is HIGHER away for Cincy. I love that his OBP went up dramatically in ARI, better surrounding players IMO. His AVG and SO are still and issue, but IF he can play a decent 1B if/when Nick goes down its a great option. He's only 29 this week too so a 4-5 year 50+mil or so offer isn't outrageous. Imagine this line-up;
1. Guzman (SH)
2. Milledge (R)
3. Johnson (L)
4. Dukes (R)
5. Dunn (L)
6. Zimmerman (R)
7. Flores (R)
8. Hernandez/Bonifacio (R/L)
9. Pitcher

Posted by: estuartj | November 4, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Just out from the Nationals ...

First baseman Dmitri Young has been outrighted to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League.

The Nationals’ 40-Man Roster now stands at 35.

Posted by: Brian_ | November 4, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The nats should just cut tie with him and pay him the 5 mill and while your at it outright kearns to AAA.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | November 4, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I ment Dimitri. Now lets get dunn and holliday.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | November 4, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Dunn and Holliday? I don't see cutting bait on Milledge just yet and the sky (and Prison) are the limit for Dukes so I'd stand pat on the OF with Dunn (Kearns and Pena are viable options for '09 if/when Johnson goes down and Dunn moves to 1B). For all the moves we made this year on the IF I'd still like to see an package for Dan Uggla, but I doubt we'll see it.

We hear rumors hear and there that the Nats will go for a FA pitcher, and BTW if you are going to sign Dunn why not sign a pitcher too, you can't lose your 2nd round pick twice...

Imagine THIS line-up;
1. Guzman (SS)
2. Uggla (2B)
3. Johnson (1B)
4. Dukes (RF)
5. Dunn (LF)
6. Zimmerman (3B)
7. Millege (CF)
8. Flores (CA)
9. Strasburg (SP)

Now that is an 85 win line-up (if they all play 150+ games)!

Posted by: estuartj | November 4, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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