M’s Sign Bard, Cordero
Ryan Divish reports that the Mariners have inked catcher Josh Bard and pitcher Chad Cordero to minor league deals with invites to spring training.
Bard provides some things the M’s currently don’t have – a switch-hitting catcher who can actually hit for some power, and has a decent amount of major league experience. What he doesn’t have, however, is a throwing arm – second base is free for the taking when he’s behind the plate, as his career caught stealing percentage is just 20 percent. Given Wakamatsu’s displeasure with allowing teams to run wild last year, it is interesting to see the M’s bring in this type of catcher, but on a minor league deal, he’s a nice value. It is not too hard to imagine him outproducing either (or both) Moore and Johnson if given regular time.
Cordero is less interesting. His fastball sat in the low-80s all of 2009 as he attempted to rehab with the M’s, and he got torched by Northwest League hitters, a collection of kids right out of college and players who will never make the big show. Unless he finds another 6 or 7 MPH on his fastball, he’s never going to be useful again.