Coming off a fantastic season of relief work for the Marlins, Calero is exactly the type of reliever the Cubs have been searching for this off-season.
FoxSports.com reports that the length of the contract is the only thing holding the Cubs up from signing the 35-year-old reliever.
Kiko Calero, the right-handed former Marlin, is coming off a monster season which saw him post an ERA of 1.95 and a 1.10 WHIP. He also notched 69 strikeouts in only 60 innings of work. Talent has never really been a problem of Calero’s, but his health has been a point to be wary of.
After virtually missing all of the 2008 season (Only pitching 4 innings), Calero was given a minor league contract last season. To the Marlins luck, Calero was almost healthy all season and pitching to his fullest abilities.
Apparently Jim Hendry is still very interested in adding another veteran reliever to the Cubs ‘pen, and Calero certainly fits that mold. Kiko is also a better option than another reliever the Cubs have been rumored to be looking into: Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays.
If Carlos Marmol can pitch like he did in 2007 or 2008, the Cubs have their “closer” position absolutely locked down. With Calero in tow, the Cubs could have two very formidable set-up options for 2010, in Kiko and Angel Guzman.
This would be a smaller move, for depth, but it could prove to be very critical as the year goes on. Stay tuned.