Thursday, October 30, 2008


Dear Jim,

Re: "Chad Cordero kicked to the curb like a cheap whore."

If anyone in my line of work ever screwed the pooch like this, they'd be not just fired but banished from the community forever. And now to top it off you option Chief to AAA as if you weren't even interested in keeping him on any terms no matter what.

If and when Cordero ever returns to Nationals Park in an opposing uni, I'll be rooting for him. And if only you'd personally stand in the box and give him a chance to plunk you in your fat, pasty flank.

Pride. Ego. Thin-skinned, self-centered narcissism. That's all that drives you. You are a curse on the franchise and I can't wait for the day we are finally free of your incompetent classless bungling crap.




Kenny G said...

You can bet I will be rooting for him as well! It's so disappointing to see him go like this... maybe Bowden will be shown the door in the same way.

John said...

Remind me again why we are stuck with this horrible GM for another year...?

Hendo said...

@john: Because Kevin Towers won't take our phone calls and thus doesn't know how badly we want Paul DePodesta?

C'mon, Kevin. Pick up that call next time the cellphone rings. Not every number in the 202 area code belongs to JimBow.

Steven said...

What's fucking outrageous about this is that they're saying that they had to do this to make room on the 40 man. As it is they have 2 empty spots, and Perez and Boone will be gone, opening up 2 more, and then we have crap like Mike O'Connor and Tyler Clippard sucking up spots. The idea that somehow we can't afford space for Chad Cordero because there's such a crowded 40-man roster is just a total fucking lie. The people who run this team take us for idiots, and I'm sick of it.

Wil Nieves said...

I had heard previously after Jim Bowden made those comments that he called and apologized to Cordero and said maybe they could work out a deal with a low salary but good incentives if Chad is able to return to his previous self.

Do you think this is off the table now? Any chance they resign him? Cordero seemed very loyal to the franchise before this major gaffe by JimBo...

Steven said...

Wil--It had been reported that Chief said he wouldn't resign with the Nationals as long as Bowden is here, and if that's true I don't blame him one bit.

And it seems to me that if you want to resign Chief that you don't option him to AAA. You negotiate with him and get a deal done. Once again, by making him a FA, with this BS explanation that somehow we need the space for rule 5-ers, Bowden short-circuited the process and sent a message loud and clear that he really doesn't want Chad to be here. If Cordero somehow re-signs, it'll be a huge shock to me and despite Bowden's repeated ham-handed treatment.

Wil Nieves said...

I guess the question is - if he gets an offer from the Nats (of almost any variety), can he afford to turn it down? Do you think he'll return from surgery at 2005 levels?

Speaking of the surgery, does it say something about the Nats long term view of Cordero that he had surgery by Dr. Yokum, while Shaun Hill was sent to the famed Dr. James Andrews?

Sean Hogan said...

I think they outrighted him to AAA so that they could have time to negotiate with him before the non-tender deadline. I know if you don't offer a player arbitration you can't resign them until May 15...I wonder if it's the same deal with non-tendering a player.

An Briosca Mor said...

Wil--It had been reported that Chief said he wouldn't resign with the Nationals as long as Bowden is here, and if that's true I don't blame him one bit.

The interview with Codero on Nats320 right now would lead me to believe that such reports if true then are not still true now.

As for releasing Cordero now, I really don't understand the outrage. They were going to non-tender him (i.e. release him) anyway, so why wait until December to do it and have him take up a spot on the 40-man now? There may well be more roster moves to protect players before the Rule 5 draft that will make good use of Cordero's roster spot.

BTW, are you aware that there's now some aspect of your blog that causes it to crash in some versions of IE, such as whatever my employer uses? It's not an issue on Safari which I run at home, and also I don't have the problem with other blogspot blogs on IE at work. Did you reconfigure something recently or add some new widget or plug-in?

Steven said...

@Sean--the deadline for offering arbitration isn't until December 1, if I'm not mistaken.

@ABM--they have 2 open slots on the 40-man, and at least 4-5 more filled by guys who have no future with us. Now Chief is a FA, so anyone can negotiate with him. If you wanted to make a deal with him, you'd want to maintain exclusive rights as long as possible and really sit down and try to get it done. Is it a big deal in the grand scheme of things? No, it's not. But it bugs me that they tell us that they "need the roster space." For whom? Mike O'Connor? Gimme a break. It's the part where they insult our intelligence that pisses me off. That and the fact that Bowden's insult poisoned the well so badly in the first place.

An Briosca Mor said...

Cordero's chances of signing with another team are neither increased nor diminished as a result of him becoming a FA now rather than later. Likewise his chances of re-signing with the Nationals are neither increased nor diminished by this move. The reality of the situation is that coming back from surgery the only way any team is going to take a chance on Cordero is with an incentive-laden minor league contract - although neither Codero nor his agent is ready yet to face that reality. Maybe some other team will give him a major league contract, and if so, good for Chad. But if not - which is the much more likely outcome - then by letting Cordero test the FA waters now the Nationals are just accelerating the process of him finding out what he's (not) going to get there, making it that much sooner that they can offer him an incentive-laden minor league deal which he may well accept. I see nothing wrong for anyone with the way this went down now. The Nats have an another empty 40-man slot to fill, and there are many ways that can be done that don't involve Mike O'Connor. Trade, FA signing, an extra pick in the Rule 5 draft are all possibilities.

Steven said...

One thing I think a number of commenters are missing is that a labrum tear isn't the death sentence it used to be. It's a bad injury and a looooong rehab, but it is no longer accurate to say that "he'll probably never be the same" or that sort of thing. Actually, he has a pretty decent chance of making it back. Will he be the guy he was in '05? Well, '05 was pretty fluky to begin with. But will he be less valuable than the least valuable guy on our 40 man roster? That's what Bowden is implicitly saying when he makes no effort to resign him and just cuts him loose like this.

ABM--so I guess your version of events is that Jim tried to resign him to an incentive-laden deal, but Chief was obstinate and insisting on way too much money. So now we still want him, but we're executing an elaborate negotiating ploy where we allow him to talk to every other team in baseball so he can realize that the Nationals will pay him more than anyone else. At which point he'll comce back to us on our terms.

I want some of what you're smoking.

One of two things is going on here:

1. the team really thinks that Cordero is not going to be good enough to make the cut on a team with nothing but question marks in the bullpen after Hanrahan and Rivera. (And I'm being charitable not calling Hanrahan a question mark as your closer.)

2. Bowden's pride is still wounded over the whole Cordero non-tender debacle, and so this is his way of re-asserting his manhood by showing that he's in control and that this is really how he'd have wanted it anyway. This way, the Cordero insult is meaningless, because Bowden never wanted to even try to resign him in the first place. See? Retroactive self-forgiveness of all sins.

Problem is, it's a bad baseball decision, which Jim is making to soothe his ego. Same motivation as the Pena acquisition, and the Young re-signing, and the Guzman re-signing. And most of the Reds acquisitions. This guy is always trying to massage his image at the expense of the team.

An Briosca Mor said...

No, my version of events is this: Chad Cordero 2009 = John Patterson 2008. Same level of uncertainty at five times the cost. That's why they were already planning to non-tender him in December. They were cutting ties. All that happened now is that they did it a month or two early. As I said, if Chad gets a FA deal with some other team, good for him. If he doesn't, then he's going to take a minor league deal with someone, and based on his comments to Nats320 there's no reason to believe the Nats won't be his first choice if it should come down to that. If this were some off-the-shelf FA coming off an injury that Bowden was having to spend nearly $5M on (which is what it would cost the Nats to retain Chad now) you would be screaming bloody murder. Don't deny it. You've just become irrational because the player in question is Chad Cordero.

Steven said...

There was no offer made to Cordero. Bowden just cut him loose, no questions asked. If they offered some incentive-laden deal and Cordero rejected it, you'd be more right. No one is saying we should offer him arb or $5m. I'm saying we should have TRIED to sign him, when Bowden clearly did not.

Why wouldn't he at least TRY? Why did Cordero in the 320 interview say that he was surprised to have been optioned to AAA?

I think Bowden didn't try because of pride, not baseball judgment. If you have another explanation for why he didn't offer Cordero ANYTHING, then I'll listen to it.

An Briosca Mor said...

Who said an offer was made to Cordero? Not me. But if and when the opportunity arises to make him an incentive-laden minor league deal, the Nationals probably will. There's no way they can sign him to a major league deal now. Whether some other team will is the question, and my money says that none will.

An Briosca Mor said...

No one is saying we should offer him arb or $5m. I'm saying we should have TRIED to sign him, when Bowden clearly did not.

I'm no expert on the CBA, but I'm almost positive that the only way the Nats can sign Cordero to a major league deal at this point is to go through arbitration. He's obviously not ready yet to admit that no other team would sign him as FA (nor should he be), which is why he rejected being sent to Syracuse, which would have allowed the Nats to sign him to a minor league deal. Also it may well be that by non-tendering or releasing him, the Nats can't re-sign him as a major league FA until next May 1 (or is it June 1?). Remember all the Roger Clemens FA antics centered around that date?

Steven said...

@ABM--Here's how it works:

The team can sign any of their arb-eligible players to whatever deal the player and the team agree to and avoid arbitration. In fact, this is much more common than actually going to arb. Redding, Colome, Langerhans--all of them re-signed with the Nats last year for mutally agreeable terms to avoid arb. Go to Cot's and you'll see lots of these--anyone where it says "avoided arbitration": Usually this involves non-tendering the player just as a technicality to be able to get the player signed to the previously agreed to contract.

The deadline to offer arb to players who have not already resigned is Dec. 1. If players pass this deadline without a deal or an offer, the team can't resign them till like May 1 or whatever it is (I didn't look it up but basically it doesn't matter, the practical effect is that the player is definitely gone.)

So if you were trying to resign him at all you'd take the next month to talk, monitor the healing process, etc. Hey Chief says he thinks he's going to be ready by spring training. I'm skeptical about that, but why not just wait and talk?

I'm not sure why you're so dead set on signing him to a minor league deal. Everyone (even Chief) agrees that he's not going to get the $7+m that he would have gotten in arbitration. But you're saying that you'd walk away if he asked for the ~$400k major-league minimum? If so, fair enough we just disagree. That seems way too low for a player with Cordero's upside. His diagnosis just isn't as bad as you seem to think.

Bowden's answer is that they needed the room on the 40-man to protect guys from the rule 5 draft. It's not that Cordero wants too much money. No one's saying that. Bowden is saying that Cordero now is less valuable than Mike O'Connor, Tyler Clippard, and Kory Casto. And keep in mind, after Perez and Boone are removed, we have 4 empty spots on the 40-man.

So he's saying that we have 4 more guys who are rule-5 eligible (basically minor leaguers who are 23 or older) who are *more* valuable than Cordero. Or we could use those spots to grab guys in the rule-5. But who's he looking to protect? None of our BA top 10 prospects are eligible, either because they're already on the 40-man or because they're too young. If I understand the rules right (and I'm not sure I totally do yet), we're talking about Garrett Guzman, Leonard Davis, Adam Carr, Colton Willems, and Zech Zinicola as the 'prospects' who would be eligible to the Rule 5. Some of these guys probably should get protected, but to agree with Bowden now you have to believe that you would not trade Chief straight up for any of these 4 guys, or O'Connor, Casto, Clippard, or anyone else on our 40-man (or whoever we get in the rule 5, remember you have to have an empty spot on the 40-man to participate). It's not money--he's saying he'd rather have

I'm not sure any of these guys are better than Cordero, even after the injury, but even if you would pick all of them over him, you could protect them all and still participate in the rule 5 by taking a dead weight guy like O'Connor or Clippard off the 40-man.

So I'm back to my original conclusion that there's no reasonable baseball argument for dumping Cordero now, this way, that this is a matter of Bowden short-circuiting the process instead of doing what's right for the team because he ego demanded protection.

Steve Shoup said...

One thing that needs to get cleared up the whole can't resign a player you don't offer arbitration to until May 1st is no longer valid. That provision was removed in the last CBA. Now you can resign them anytime you want. Honestly I think Bowden blew the situation with the whole reporting on the news basically but here I don't have a problem with them outrighting Cordero. I think the difference between keeping an O'Conner or Clippard over the Chief does have to do with money even if Bowden doesn't ocme out and say it. Lets be honest it would sound cheap and greedy and rile up the whole "Learner's are cheap" crowd if he were to say it publicly. Maybe O'Conner and Clippard aren't as good as Cordero pre injury but they make league minimum ($400K) and Cordero would have made just about $5 million. For that $4.6 million difference the Nats could sign 2 bullpen arms who could pitch 70 innings a piece. And thats the other problem while O'Connner and Clippard aren't the best they can give you some innings next year and contribute. Cordero on the other hand you really don't know what your gonna get his velocity has dipped 10mph and he wasn't that hard of a thrower to begin with. It could be another full year before he's even close to what he was before and that can be a big if. Finally I think that the Nats can't afford to carry dead weight in payroll on in roster spots. 4 open spots are not alot we know the nats are going to sign some guys (and maybe resign perez). They will have the top pick in the Rule V draft and could get a decent player there.

Also, Steven i too have been having issues opening your blog in IE any suggestions??

Steven said...

Re: the IE thing. I dunno. I'll take down some of the non-blogger apps. Lemme know if that helps.

jimo said...

A few things to clear up here:

1. Cordero was *not* optioned to AAA--he was outrighted. When a team wants to remove a player from their 40-man roster(and that players is out of options), then he must clear waivers to be sent to a minor league affiliate.

The first time this happens, it can be done with or without the players' consent--i.e. they have no choice.

After that(2nd time, 3rd time, etc.), a player has earned the right of refusing the assignment and can instead elect to become a free agent.

This is what Cordero chose.

[Although, in Codero's case, he had never been previously outrighted if I recall correctly--but players with 5 years or more of MLB service time can refuse the assignment as well. and Cordero's playing time in 2008 puts him at just over 5 years of service time. Minor league players with 6 or more years of minor league service time can do the same.]

I'll post the other clarifications in the next post(or two.) ;)