Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Madson, Cordero, or Wood: Who Ya Got?

The plot keeps thickening in the search for the Reds next closer as rumors surfaced Tuesday evening about the team being in serious talks in inking free agent stopper Ryan Madson, reports Jon Heyman of Cincinnati is now alleged to be courting the free agent likes of Madson, Kerry Wood, and incumbent Francisco Cordero to assume closer/setup roles. Given the fact that all three come with their own pros and cons, I thought it'd be fun to breakdown each candidate to see which one fits best in a Reds uniform. Here is a mini-profile on each one:

Ryan Madson (31)
2011 stats: 4-2, 2.37 ERA, 62 GP, 32/24 SV, 60.67 IP
Career stats: 47-30, 3.59 ERA, 491 GP, 113 H, 630 IP

- Long-term this towering 6'6" hurler would likely prove to be the best option for the club to sign. At 31-years old Madson has plenty of MLB seasons still left in him, but one must raise two concerns in respect to the right-hander -- his lack of time spent closing and his asking price. The 2011 campaign was the first season Madson handled the closing duties for the NL East Champion Phillies, and although he performed quite well, one season is a small sample size to go off of. Plus, Madson and his agent (the infamous Scott Boras) are reportedly looking for a multi-year contract somewhere around the ballpark of $9-$12 million a year -- a price much too lofty for the Reds to absorb. If Cincy were to lock him long-term, as @RedlegsWriter pointed out in an earlier conversation, it would seriously limit the club's ability to re-sign Joey Votto after 2013...never mind the bump in pay that many of the younger guys will be due soon.

However, ask any Redlegs fan and I'm sure most of them would be perfectly fine with Madson as the team's closer...including myself. I could see this guy being a fixture at the back end of the Cincy 'pen for several seasons.

Francisco Cordero (36)
2011 stats: 5-3, 2.45 ERA, 68 GP, 37/43 SV, 69.67 IP
Career stats: 44-45, 3.17 ERA, 753 GP, 327 SV, 785.33 IP

- After the Reds turned down Cordero's $12 million team option for next season, there was undoubtedly some hard feelings from Coco toward the franchise. But with the market for free agent closers dwindling fast, it appears as though both parties are willing to put that behind them in hopes of a new deal. Considering the Dominican natives reliable track record and familiarity with the roster, Cordero definitely makes the most sense of the three on a short-term basis.

The drawback with the right-hander is the obvious concern of his age, especially when he and his agent are primarily interested in a multi-year contract. With that in mind, if the two sides could strike an accord that guaranteed Cordero would be a Red in 2012, it'd be a win-win scenario for all.

Kerry Wood (34)
2011 stats: 3-5, 3.35 ERA, 55 GP, 21 H, 51 IP
Career stats: 86-73, 3.64 ERA, 436 GP, 1371.33 IP

- The possibility of adding Wood to the bullpen is an intriguing one. The 13-year veteran has probably passed his prime from a pitching-standpoint, but that doesn't mean he couldn't help a team in their drive to the postseason and beyond. At an estimated price tag of about $2-$3 million, the right-hander presents the cheapest option of the three, but likely the riskiest as well. While he would help the Reds in 2012, his contributions and/or role beyond next season seems to be unclear.

From a short-term perspective, the addition of the 34-year old would presumably move former teammate Sean Marshall to the closer role and allow Wood to be the setup man. In this case, the Reds could boast having spent the same amount of cash on both their eighth and ninth inning guys as they would have on acquiring Madson or Cordero alone.

So, now that you know what you know about the three, who would you pursue?

No comments: