MLB Trade Rumors reported today that former Washington Nationals closer and All-Star Chad Cordero has signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and will compete for a spot in their bullpen. Ben Nicholson-Smith writes:
"(Cordero) made the All-Star team and led the National League with 47 saves in 2005, when he finished fifth in Cy Young balloting and even picked up votes in the MVP race. But Cordero underwent right shoulder surgery in 2008 and has only appeared in nine big league games since.
Cordero posted a 3.03 ERA in 35 2/3 innings for the Mets' and Mariners' Triple-A affiliates last year. His strikeout (9.1 K/9) and walk (2.3 BB/9) numbers were strong in the minor leagues, but they didn't translate in his brief return to the majors."
Cordero at one time was the face of a young Washington Nationals franchise which against all odds thrusted itself to first place in the National League East for a good portion of the 2005 season. While the clubs flash in the pan success quickly turned around, Cordero continued to pitch well through the next two seasons. Between 2005-2007 he earned saves, which ranked second in the National League to only Trevor Hoffman during that span.
The fans in Washington fell in love with Cordero right away. His energetic appearances, lovable round face, and patented flat brim brought much needed electricity to RFK Stadium at a time the Nationals needed it most.
Unfortunately, few of us can forget early in 2008 when Cordero magically lost all velocity on his fastball. The then 26 year old had never been known for his velocity, but when he had trouble throwing even 80 MPH everyone knew something was wrong. He soon had shoulder surgery, missed the remainder of the season, and never wore a Nationals jersey again.
Now it seems he may have finally battled his way back to a major league job. We here at The Nats Blog wish him the best of luck.