Cordero visits with Nationals in LA
Closer declines comment about future with team
LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Chad Cordero visited the Nationals on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. He was seen in the visitor's dugout wearing a black arm sling, white cap and shirt, jeans and sneakers.
Cordero is out for the season because of a labrum tear in his right shoulder. He had surgery on July 8, is expected to start rehabbing on Monday and be ready for Spring Training. Cordero acknowledged that he watches every Nationals game but wishes he was on the field.
"For me, I can't stand [not playing]," Cordero said. "But I'm able to handle it because I'm able to watch all the games. I miss my coaches, I miss my teammates and my friends. That was probably the hardest part for me to handle -- is not being around everybody."
Although he hasn't been playing, Cordero found his name in the news this week, when general manager Jim Bowden announced to Sports Talk 980 AM in Washington that Cordero would be non-tendered.
Such announcements are not made until the offseason. Cordero figured that the Nationals would go in that direction because they do not want to pay him a lot of money. He will make $6.2 million this year.
But what bothered Cordero was that Bowden didn't tell him or his agent, Larry Reynolds first before telling the media. Bowden ended up apologizing to Cordero and Reynolds on Friday.
Asked if the wounds have healed with Bowden, Cordero said, "I really appreciate the fact that he called me and apologized. That made me feel a little bit better. I'm also disappointed how it went down."
Cordero declined once again to talk about his future with the club, saying that he wants to get his shoulder 100 percent first. However, several sources close to Cordero insisted that he will not be back with the Nationals if Bowden remains the general manager. One person close to Cordero said that team president Stan Kasten has to be the one to convince Cordero to stay.
"Chad is not considered a Jim guy. He wasn't drafted by Jim," one person said early Saturday afternoon.
Those same sources believe that Cordero will have a job next season. Some have said that Cordero wouldn't mind being reunited with Mets general manager Omar Minaya, who drafted Cordero in 2003. If that were the case, Cordero would not be a closer. The job belongs to left-hander Billy Wagner.
Cordero is considered one of the best closers in Nationals/Expos history, saving 128 games with a 2.78 ERA.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.