Red Sox add right-hander Francisco Cordero on minor league deal

February 16, 2014 - 12:05 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In 2012, as the Red Sox mulled successors to Jonathan Papelbon as their closer, one of the pitchers they considered for the role was Francisco Cordero. The possessor of 327 career saves and armed with a strikeout-an-inning resume, the Sox talked with the veteran about the possibility of handling their ninth inning duties. Instead, the Sox traded for Andrew Bailey while Cordero ended up signing with the Blue Jays, where he pitched under manager John Farrell. That didn't work out terribly well for anyone. Bailey, of course, ended up missing most of the season and rarely made an impact in his two seasons with the Red Sox. Cordero, meanwhile, was hit hard (5.77 ERA, 1.8 homers per nine innings) in 34 1/3 innings with the Blue Jays before getting dumped in a deal with the Astros, who ultimately ended up releasing the veteran. Cordero subsequently sat out the 2013 season. Now, he is interested in a return to the majors, and the Sox are willing to accommodate his quest. The team agreed to a minor league deal with Cordero, who will report to Fort Myers on Monday. The deal represents a no-risk proposition with upside for the Sox, giving them a pitcher with late-innings experience and upside if he has anything left in the tank at age 38 (he turns 39 in May), but that does not require the team to commit a 40-man roster spot to a pitcher whose ability to perform will be uncertain. "He's a guy that's got a lot of experience, back-end," said Farrell. "I have personal familiarity with him from when he was in Toronto. Given some of the numbers in camp, there's been nothing guaranteed to Coco, but a chance to come in and demonstrate what he still has." Cordero is 47-53 with a 3.38 ERA, 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.1 walks per nine in a career that has spanned parts of 14 big league seasons. His 329 saves are the 13th most of all time.