Who is Franchy Cordero, the player Yankees signed hours before Opening Day 2023?

Franchy Cordero is seen in the Boston Red Sox uniform during a 2021 game.

Table of Contents

Just hours before Opening Day, the Yankees strengthened their Opening Day roster on Wednesday by signing outfielder Franchy Cordero to a Major League contract, as reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN. According to his split deal, the outfielder will get $1 million in the majors and $180,000 in the minors.

The Baltimore Orioles released Franchy Cordero, 28, this week despite his stellar performance in spring training. In 47 at-bats, he had a .413/.426/.674 batting line with seven RBI. Franchy Cordero hit .219/.300/.397 with eight home runs in a career-high 275 at-bats with the Boston Red Sox last season.

The Dominican, who is joining the team on the eve of the 2023 season, is not expected to play a significant role on opening day but is likely to start on the bench.

Who is Franchy Cordero

Franchy Cordero is the type of player who quietly contributes to his team’s success. He’s one of the best utility fielders in the league but has never broken out into the spotlight. Franchy Cordero played for the Padres for three years and hit .240 with 10 home runs in 79 games before moving on to the Royals in 2020. He then signed with the Red Sox for the 2021 season. Before Franchy Cordero was traded away from the Orioles, he was batting .413/.426/.674 with two home runs, four doubles, and a triple in the spring camp.

There have been a number of positional concerns for the New York Yankees this year. For Yankees fans, the excitement has never stopped this spring. Rookies Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe have given veterans like Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa a run for their money.

However, it appears that Franchy Cordero will serve as the team’s backup outfielder. During his time with the Boston Red Sox, he spent the majority of his games at first base. However, he made 74 appearances in the outfield this spring. Franchy Cordero’s track record as an outfielder speaks to his athleticism.

Franchy Cordero has never started in more than 80 games in a season, and there’s no reason for Yankees fans to expect that to change in 2023. He uses his right hand for throwing and his left for hitting.

Franchy Cordero’s MLB career

In November 2011, Franchy Cordero signed with the San Diego Padres. In 2012, he debuted professionally and spent the entire season with the Dominican Summer League Padres, where he hit.270 with one home run and 38 RBIs in 61 games. In 2013, with the Padres of the Arizona League, he appeared in 35 games and posted a .333/.381/.511 batting line with three home runs and 17 RBIs. Franchy Cordero played 126 games for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2015, accumulating a .243 batting average, five home runs, and 34 RBIs. He was promoted to the San Antonio Missions after beginning the 2016 season with the Lake Elsinore Storm.

In 2016 and 2017, Franchy Cordero led all minor leaguers in triples, and in 2017, he ranked in the top 3 percent of qualified major league players in speed. He also has elite power, with 20% of his batted balls leaving the park at or above 105 mph in 2017 (ranking 35th in the league).

Franchy Cordero debuted for El Paso in 2017. On May 27, 2017, he was called up to the Major Leagues to take over the starting center fielder role for the Padres. As a pinch hitter that day, he faced Stephen Strasburg and struck out. In his first 17 games, he collected 19 hits, but in his last 10, he managed just one before being sent back to El Paso. He played in three more games for the Padres in July.

After starting the year on the disabled list with a groin injury, Franchy Cordero finally joined the Padres in early April. Before going on the disabled list on May 28 with forearm soreness, he was the Padres’ regular starting left fielder. He played 22 games in left field, 10 in the center, and 4 in right, with a final batting line of.237/.307/.439. On April 20, Cordero hit a home run that was the second-longest in Major League Baseball (489 feet) for 2018.

The Padres sent Franchy Cordero to the Royals on July 16, 2020, and he spent the next two months on Kansas City’s injured list. He hit .211 with two home runs and seven RBIs for the 2020 Kansas City Royals in 16 games.

Franchy Cordero in Boston, Baltimore

In a three-team deal completed on February 10, 2021, the Royals sent Franchy Cordero to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Andrew Benintendi. He was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on May 27 after hitting .179 in 34 games for Boston. On his return on July 22, he made 48 plate appearances and hit.189 for Boston. Franchy Cordero played first base and all three outfield positions defensively for Boston in 84 games that year, batting .219 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs before going down on September 7th after a sprained right ankle.

Franchy Cordero signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles on December 2, 2022. In 46 spring training at-bats, he hit .413 with two home runs. On March 27th, 2023, they let him go.

The Yankees’ signing of Cordero is looked on as a panic reaction following injuries. However, only time will tell how far the trade is beneficial to them

In Pinstripes, 2023

Franchy Cordero’s 2023 season with the New York Yankees was one filled with anticipation but ultimately resulted in a narrative of unmet expectations and criticism. Upon signing a split contract with the Yankees, Cordero was viewed as a potential low-risk, high-reward acquisition who could fill a gap in the outfield and provide the team with a much-needed power bat. His early performance, including a memorable three-run homer at Camden Yards on April 7, hinted at the possibility of Cordero being the spark the Yankees needed. This home run, his first in Yankees pinstripes, alongside his historic start of four or more homers and 11 or more RBIs in his first seven games with the team, showcased the kind of impact he was capable of making.

However, as the season progressed, Cordero’s struggles at the plate became more pronounced. His batting line of .188/.211/.478 over 24 games, coupled with 6 home runs and 13 RBI, highlighted a significant inconsistency and a striking inability to reach base regularly. Such performance fell short of filling the Yankees’ needs in the outfield, where they sought not just power but also on-base capability and consistency—areas where Cordero notably struggled. His OPS of .689 through 71 plate appearances with the Yankees further emphasized the gap between the potential impact his power could have and the actual value he brought to the lineup.

Criticism of Cordero centered around these struggles, particularly his high strikeout rate and low on-base percentage, which were seen as liabilities in a lineup that needed more consistent contributors. The Yankees, known for their high standards and competitive environment, required players who could provide steady offensive production, especially in the highly competitive AL East. Cordero’s inability to fulfill this role led to disappointment and criticism from both fans and analysts alike.

Despite his contributions, which included notable power displays and a brief flash of historic production, Cordero’s tenure with the Yankees is remembered more for what he failed to provide than what he did. His subsequent removal from the 40-man roster and outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, followed by his decision to elect free agency, marked the end of a stint that both the player and team likely hoped would have yielded better results.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Standard Batting

7 Yrs2517977221001573752787135662780.2170.2830.3950.6788328541531
162 Game Avg.16251446665101243175683431790.2170.2830.3950.6788318431321
Baseball Reference

Career Graph

Errors Committed as 1BDouble Plays Turned as LF (s.1901)Errors Committed as CF (s.1901)
2022 AL 8 (4th)2021 AL 1 (3rd)2020 AL 1 (4th)
Baseball Reference

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!