This is the post I’ve been looking forward to — or dreading. I can’t decide which.

My thoughts on Francisco Cordero are decidedly mixed, and they really have been since the day CoCo signed the big free agent deal to join Cincinnati. Until last season, I’ve been a fan of Cordero, but I always thought his salary was too large to be justified (within the context of a mid-range budget, it’s difficult to spend that much money on someone who only throws 60 innings, no matter how good the pitcher is). I tried to ignore the budget issue, though, mainly because CoCo was really a pretty darn good reliever (and his paycheck wasn’t coming out of my own pocket).

Last year, things changed somewhat. Cordero’s effectiveness took a drop, and he became enemy #1 for some Reds fans after one too many blown saves. Just as I was reaching my personal limit on Coco, he did something that — surprisingly — actually made me like the guy more than I had before. He stood in front of the microphone and accepted all the blame and said that Reds fans were right to boo him because he wasn’t getting the job done.

That didn’t make the blown saves any more palatable, but my respect for Cordero the person increased immeasurably. Maybe that’s because I still remember Danny Graves blaming everyone else for his failures, but whatever the reason, Cordero stood out as a stand-up guy. I’m rooting for him to return to his prior form.

That said, Cordero didn’t have a great year in 2010, yet he’s still going to be paid a lot to perform at the back of the bullpen in 2011.

So, let’s hear the Nation’s collective wisdom about Francisco Cordero. Is he overrated, underrated, or properly-rated? What is his future with the Mighty Redlegs, and what should his future be?

This should be an interesting one….