Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Franchy Cordero intends on playing for the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League this off-season, he announced on Wednesday.
“I’ll be here in a few weeks,” Cordero said (in Spanish) to team reporter Natacha Pena.
Earlier this week, Escogido general manager Luis Rojas told reporters that he expected Cordero to join the team in mid-November or by the 20th at the latest.
Cordero was officially added to Escogido’s roster on Wednesday, per his MLB.com transaction log. The Azua native has spent the last five winters with the Santo Domingo-based club. He took home LIDOM (Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana) Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 campaign.
This news is particularly noteworthy since Cordero is still technically recovering from a right ankle sprain that prematurely ended his 2022 season. In the fifth inning of 4-3 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field on September 5, the 28-year-old attempted to track down a 358-foot fly ball off the bat of Randy Arozarena in left field. He wound up jumping for the ball and his right cleat got caught in the fence’s padding. That caused him to land awkwardly and he was ultimately carted off the field.
An MRI revealed that Cordero had sprained both sides of his ankle and he was placed on the 60-day injured list two days later. All told, the left-handed hitter batted .219/.300/.397 with 17 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 29 RBIs, 36 runs scored, four stolen bases, 28 walks, and 92 strikeouts over 84 games (275 plate appearances) in his second season with the Sox.
Since coming over from the Royals in the Andrew Benintendi trade last February, Cordero owns a .209/.279/.350 slash line across 132 career games in a Red Sox uniform. Although he possesses freakish tools, the 6-foot-3, 226-pounder has proven to be a below-average defender at first base who may be better suited for the outfield.
Because he was added back to Boston’s 40-man roster in April, Cordero is eligible for arbitration this winter. He is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $1.5 million in 2023. The Red Sox could elect to non-tender Cordero and make him a free agent before then, but they will first have to activate him from the 60-day injured list by Nov. 15.
In short, it should be interesting to see what the Red Sox have planned for Cordero in the coming weeks. MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo took note of the fact that Cordero is well-liked within the organization, so that could play a role in their decision-making process moving forward.
(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)