Chad Cordero

Chad Patrick Cordero (born March 18, 1982) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. Cordero played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners. He currently serves as the bullpen coach for the Billings Mustangs, the Pioneer League rookie affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.[1]

Chad Cordero
Cordero with the Washington Nationals
Born: (1982-03-18) March 18, 1982
Upland, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 30, 2003, for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
July 9, 2010, for the Seattle Mariners
MLB statistics
Win–loss record20–15
Earned run average2.89
Career highlights and awards

Cordero's best season was in 2005, when he was an All-Star and won the Rolaids Relief Man Award. During the period of 2005–2007, he recorded 113 saves, second most in the National League behind Trevor Hoffman's 131.[2]


College years

At age 18, Cordero was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round of the 2000 MLB draft, but he chose to enroll at Cal State Fullerton, where he was a standout reliever. With an ERA of under 1.83 he made the 1st team All-America Freshman team and was selected to the Big West All-Conference team, the latter of which he repeated in each of his next two years. In 2003, he was the Fullerton Regional MVP (College World Series), and then was drafted by the Expos in the 1st round (20th overall).

First two years

Cordero pitched briefly in 2003, and then appeared in 69 games for the Expos in 2004, compiling an ERA of 2.94, usually appearing as a closer. He earned a save in the last Montreal Expo victory in Hiram Bithorn Stadium on July 11, 2004. He also threw the final pitch for the Expos at Olympic Stadium on September 29, 2004 and the final pitch for a win on October 2 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.[3]


Chad Cordero in 2007
Cordero with the Nationals in 2008

The Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005, and Cordero had a career-best season. In June 2005, Cordero tied the major league record for saves in one month with 15. He shares the record with Lee Smith and John Wetteland. He also converted his 24th consecutive save, breaking the club record held by Mel Rojas. On September 9, 2005, Cordero's 44th save broke the franchise record. He completed the 2005 season with 47 saves, leading the major leagues, and was selected to the National League pitching staff for the 2005 MLB All-Star game, facing one batter, Iván Rodríguez, and striking him out. He was the 2005 Washington Nationals Player of the Year, and won the National League Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award.


In February 2006, Cordero and his teammate Brian Schneider were chosen to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. During the season, however, his production tailed off. While he still got 29 saves (8th best in the league), his ERA went from 1.82 to 3.19.


In the beginning of the 2007 season, Cordero faced a tough time against batters. By May 6, his ERA was 4.70. Cordero admitted he was distracted by the illness of his ailing grandmother,[4] and missed six games for personal bereavement leave. He came back a changed man, and starting May 16 made 12 consecutive appearances without allowing a run. On June 13, Cordero (at age 25 years and 86 days) became the second youngest player in baseball history to reach 100 saves in a career. (Francisco Rodríguez is the youngest at 24 years and 246 days old.)[5] Echoing his final pitches at Olympic Stadium and Hiram Bithorn Stadium in 2004 Cordero closed out the final Nationals game at RFK stadium getting a save on September 23, 2007.[6] He is likely the only pitcher in major league history to throw the final pitch at three different home stadiums for the same franchise.


Cordero missed almost all of the 2008 season after undergoing surgery to repair a labrum tear, an injury he suffered in April.[2] On October 30, 2008 the Nationals sent him outright to AAA Syracuse, and he rejected the assignment, becoming a free agent. Among other reasons for Cordero's rejection was that he was displeased with how he found out that he would be "non-tendered" by the Nationals at the end of the season—via an impromptu comment made by Nationals' GM Jim Bowden on a radio show in July.[7]

On March 12, 2009, Cordero signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners with an invitation to spring training. He was to compete for the closer role once he fully recovered from surgery, but was unable to make a minor league appearance until July.[2] He was called up to the Mariners on June 3, 2010, taking the spot of the retired Ken Griffey Jr.[2] On July 15, 2010 he refused a minor league assignment from the Seattle Mariners and became a free agent. On July 21, 2010 Cordero agreed on a minor league deal with the New York Mets and was assigned to Triple A Buffalo.

On January 3, 2011, Cordero signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was released on May 17.[8] Cordero later signed[9] with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, but retired on June 20, 2011.[10]

On February 13, 2013, Cordero signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim due to his desire to play again.[11] He was assigned to the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League, the (high) Class-A affiliate of the Angels, to begin the season.[12]

Personal life

Cordero has three children: Riley, Cooper, and Tehya. Tehya died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2010.[13] He was married to Jamie Cordero but the couple is now separated. Chad has no relation to Francisco Cordero, another MLB closer sharing his last name and playing at the same time as him.

See also

  • List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders


  1. "Reds name Mustangs Coaching Staff". January 23, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  2. "Former closer Cordero takes Griffey's roster spot". SeattlePI. June 3, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  3. "Retrosheet Boxscore: Montreal Expos 6, New York Mets 3". Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  4. Ladson, Bill (May 14, 2007). "Good and bad news for Nats". Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  5. Ladson, Bill (June 13, 2007). "Cordero second fastest to 100 saves". Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  6. Svrluga, Barry (24 September 2007). "Nats Provide Fond Farewell, End RFK Era With a Victory". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  7. Zenz, Jay (July 25, 2008). "Bowden Suffering Through A Tough Week". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  8. Blue Jays Release Chad Cordero,, May 17, 2011.
  9. "Saints Sign Former ML's Cordero & Thomson". June 3, 2011. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  10. "Hail to the Chief, Cordero Retires". June 20, 2011. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  11. Chad Cordero [@ChadCordero32] (14 February 2013). "comeback has officially begun. Just signed minor league deal with #Angels. Can't believe I might have a chance 2 play for my hometown team" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  12. "COLUMN: Chad Cordero begins his comeback at Inland Empire : Jim Alexander". Archived from the original on 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  13. Svrluga, Barry (March 22, 2011). "Nationals/MLB". The Washington Post.
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