By Matt Snyder
The Blue Jays have signed free agent reliever Francisco Cordero to a one-year, $4.5 million contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Cordero appeared to be the last remaining closer on the market, but apparently he wasn't even considered that. The Blue Jays will use Sergio Santos -- who they acquired from the White Sox during the Winter Meetings -- as the closer while Cordero will set up, Rosenthal reports.
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Cordero, 36, had 37 saves in 43 chances with a 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings last season for the Reds. With 327 career saves, only the great Mariano Rivera has more among active pitchers.
Still, the report states Santos is the Blue Jays' man. He's only 28 and got his first closing gig last season for the White Sox. He converted 30 of 36 save chances with a 3.55 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and an astounding 92 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings.
If nothing else, Cordero provides insurance for Santos and gives the Jays' an excellent 8th-9th inning combo. Don't underestimate the upgrade from the likes of Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch, either, as the Blue Jays tied the Angels with an AL-worst 25 blown saves last season. They finished 81-81 and 10 games behind the wild-card winning Rays.
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