Players You Forgot Were Astros: Closer Francisco Cordero
In this installment of the Players You Forgot Were Astros series, we look at the brief Astros career of Francisco Cordero.
This one may have been easy to forget, as it took place in 2012 when the Astros weren’t exactly competitive. But for a brief time, longtime closer Francisco Cordero was a member of the Houston club, though his time here wasn’t exactly a success.
Houston acquired the then-37-year-old Cordero in a trade with the Blue Jays in July 2012. They sent J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to Toronto and received a handful of players in return, including Joe Musgrove.
Cordero was sporting a 5.77 ERA in 41 appearances for the Blue Jays, but things went downhill quickly once he got to Houston. He only made six appearances for the Astros, allowing 11 runs on 13 hits and four walks in five innings. The club released him in early September, and those would prove to be his final major league appearances.
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Cordero finished his career with 329 saves, currently ranked 16th all-time. He established himself with the Rangers, saving a career-best 49 games and earning his first All-Star selection in 2004. He initially came to Texas from Detroit in a 1999 trade package for Juan Gonzalez.
The Rangers then traded him to the Brewers in 2006 along with three other players in exchange for Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz. He was an All-Star in Milwaukee in 2007, saving 44 games as he prepared to hit free agency.
He spent the next four seasons in Cincinnati, saving 150 games with a 2.96 ERA and earning his third All-Star appearance. He caught on with Toronto prior to the 2012 season, which would prove to be his last season in the big leagues. He attempted to make it with the Red Sox in 2014, but did not make the team.
While the Astros would have loved to have had Cordero a few seasons before they got him, things simply didn’t work out that way. His brief stint in Houston may have been abysmal, but it doesn’t take away from what was overall a solid career for a player who happened to be involved in some important trades.