Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos put the finishing touches on his bullpen makeover Wednesday by signing veteran right-hander Francisco Cordero to a on-year, $4.5-million US contract.
Cordero is expected to fill the setup role for closer Sergio Santos, who was acquired last December in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.
"I've got no problem with that because I've been a setup guy in the past," Cordero said on a conference call. "Being a closer for a long time, I know what to do. I've got to just treat the eighth inning like it's the ninth inning.
"I've just got to go out and do my job and pass it on to Santos in the ninth inning."
The duo is a significant upgrade on Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, who split the closer's role last season with mixed results. Both Rauch and Francisco have since signed with the New York Mets.
Anthopoulos has also added veterans Darren Oliver and Jason Frasor this off-season.
Cordero, a six-foot-three, 245-pound native of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, is 12th on the all-time list with 327 career saves.
He has recorded at least 30 saves in seven of his 13 big-league seasons and held opponents to a paltry .198 batting average last year.
Cordero said he has added some pitches to his repertoire and doesn't always rely on his fastball like he did earlier in his career.
"For the last few years I've been learning how to pitch in and out, moving the ball a lot better, throwing a lot of sinkers," Cordero said.
He said he had interest from a few teams this off-season but Toronto was the best fit.
Cordero said he's excited about returning to the American League.
"I've seen the Blue Jays play, I know they've got a great offence every time," Cordero said. "It's just a matter of time before they put everything together. It's going to be fun."
Toronto was 81-81 last season, good for fourth place in the American League East.
Cordero has a career record of 44-45 with a 3.17 earned-run average. He has also played for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated outfielder Darin Mastroianni for assignment.