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Angels making pitch for reliever Francisco Cordero


The Angels are one of four finalists to acquire free-agent reliever Francisco Cordero, his agent said, but it is unclear whether they are recruiting the veteran right-hander as a closer or set-up man.

Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto has maintained all winter that he is not looking to replace closer Jordan Walden, who as a rookie last season went 5-5 with a 2.98 earned-run average, 32 saves and 10 blown saves. Dipoto said he is open, however, to adding a reliever "who could help get the last nine outs of the game."

Cordero, 36, is a three-time All-Star who went 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves in 43 chances for the Cincinnati Reds last season, and he has been a closer for the last nine years.

But when asked if the Angels wanted Cordero as a closer or set-up man, Cordero's agent, Bean Stringfellow, said, "That's a delicate situation. I'd rather not comment."

Stringfellow did say that the Angels, who have already added veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins to their bullpen, "were one of the first teams to contact me [about Cordero], and we've had regular contact with them throughout the winter -- they've been pretty consistent."

The Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays are also pursuing Cordero, and Stringfellow said the reliever is expected to make a decision "by the end of this week."


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Photo: Reds closer Francisco Cordero reacts after earning a save against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati last summer. Credit: Andy Lyons / Getty Images / July 24, 2011

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