January 11, 2008

It's Good to Be The Chief

Cardiac closer Chad Cordero snagged a 1-year, $6.2M contract from the Nats, thereby avoiding salary arbitration. The Chief would easily have been the team's biggest and most contentious arbitration case, just as he was last year when he won a $4.15M award in arbitration.

$6.2M is a healthy bump, but in an environment where Eric Gagne parlays a playoff implosion into a one-year, ten million dollar contract, it's hardly eyebrow raising. And it certainly shouldn't be cost-prohibitive for any team looking for a closer come the July trade deadline. In the meantime we're glad to hear the deal got done in advance of any arbitration acrimony. Hopefully Negotiator Jim can turn his attention to achieving a similar result with Cordero's caddy, Big Jon Rauch. As for arb-eligible SP Tim Redding? Eh, rake him over the coals, he's due for a regression anyway.

The bullpen is a position of real strength for the Nats, even with Luis Ayala's latest mishap. With Cordero (and soon Rauch) locked in for another season perhaps the team can look into the possibility of trading one of the Chief's many right-handed setup guys.

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