From his Five worst off-season signings:
3. Francisco Cordero, CL, Reds: Four years, $46 million
See above about relievers and four-year contracts. The difference here is that this is a small-market team paying more than $11 million per annum for 65 innings or so. That's not a wise use of resources, particularly considering the Reds' payroll limitations. Overall, teams need to be much more creative in digging up bullpen solutions. It would be refreshing if more teams would go back the old Earl Weaver gambit of breaking in their top starter prospects with a season or two in the major league pen. In any event, teams are going to learn the hard way (yet again) that four-year contracts for relievers are rarely wise.
I am 100% in favor of the Cordero signing, for what I think are fairly obvious reasons (the Reds have the money to spend, a signing like Cordero helps them more than it would other teams because of how bad their bullpen is, etc etc), but Perry does make a good point when he talks about breaking in a top starter in the bullpen. I have been wanting the Reds to try this for years, and it never happens.
Couldn't Bailey or Cueto spend some time shoring up the bullpen and learning what it's like to face major league hitters before getting thrown to the wolves? Wouldn't that potentially also save the team some money, since they wouldn't have to go out and get veterans like Mike Stanton or Rheal Cormier? It also seems like a great way to build confidence, since presumably these guys would have a lot of success out of the bullpen, since they could rely more on their strongest pitch in briefer outings.
I'm sure there's a reason the Reds don't do this, but I honestly can't think of why it might be.