Prospectus’ Christina Kahrl has finally weighed in on the Cordero signing. ($)  Surprisingly, the evaluation is positive, more-or-less, and echoes what’s been written around the more thoughtful neighborhoods of Reds Country.

You might think this a strange pickup for a team not often considered to be a worthy entry among the ranks of 2008’s contenders, but the Reds aren’t patsies. . . . I think Wayne Krivsky has got that much right—the Reds aren’t that far off, as the division remains within reach of any team that can get to 80 wins, and signing Cordero does indeed help them get closer to that.

. . .  The question from there is whether or not Cordero is a great bet to deliver value on the deal. He hasn’t missed significant time since 2001, and that was from stress fractures in his back that haven’t recurred. He’s still pumping premium-grade gas, so his arm hasn’t lost anything to age, and that one bad spell in Texas in 2006 doesn’t seem to have been indicative of any larger chronic problem.

Kahrl says that compared to the alternatives (Gagne, Benitez, Dotel, and Chacon), Cordero is far superior “in terms of staying healthy and being able to do his thing his way when he’s out there.”

Nobody’s going to give Krivsky a medal for being brave with the checkbook, or being unwilling to take a cheaper risk, but as much as I might initially struggle to accept a major capital investment in a closer, there’s an understandable aversion to risk blended with the club’s aspirations in the seasons to come.

Kahrl says that adding Cordero should deliver a “cascade of additional benefits,” in the way of increased confidence and stable usage patterns for guys like Bray, McBeth, Salmon, or Coffey.  One point that I hadn’t considered (and frankly, don’t give much credence to), is “that maybe—maybe—signing Cordero does is give Krivsky something to show to Adam Dunn and his peeps, as part of a further demonstration of a desire to contend,” making a multi-year extension more likely.