One-time Nationals All-Star closer Chad Cordero has refused a minor league assignment with the Seattle Mariners and opted for free agency.

Cordero is working back from a torn labrum which can be almost entirely blamed on the Nationals training staff, who allowed him to pitch through shoulder tendinitis, then a torn lat, which finally led to the torn labrum—once considered a death sentence for pitchers.

Fans may also remember how former General Manager Jim Bowden unceremoniously announced live on sports talk radio that he would non-tender Cordero—before informing Cordero or his agent.

He is now 28 years old (that’s less than a year older than J.D. Martin). He appeared in nine games for the Mariners and allowed seven earned runs in 9.2 innings pitched.

That’s not great, but he struck out six, showing that he could still compete. Earlier this season at Triple-A Tacoma, he struck out 22 in 19.2 innings and had a 4.12 ERA.

His velocity is down, but he never had much to begin with. This season, his average fastball was right about 88 mph during his time in Seattle; compared to the absurdly slow 83 mph we saw back in 2008 when he last threw for the Nationals.

It seems clear that Cordero will pitch on any team that gives him a shot in the majors.

Why shouldn’t it be Washington?

As long as he doesn’t totally implode, he’ll be a fan favorite.

Pretty soon Tyler Clippard’s arm will fall off.  Would you really rather watch Joel Peralta?

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