© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

09/25/07 10:00 AM ET

Cordero a finalist for DHL Award

Brewers closer established club single-season saves record

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers closer Francisco Cordero is not much for records and awards. He has been more concerned this season about hardware. As in getting a ring.

"I've never been in a situation like this," said Cordero during the Brewers' push for the pennant. "It's an unbelievable feeling."

Cordero is among the finalists for the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award," which honors the game's best reliever. Cordero won the monthly award in April, but since then has represented the Brewers in the All-Star Game and, with his 40th save, set a new franchise record.

To borrow one of his favorite words, it's been an "unbelievable" season for Cordero, who is a major reason the team headed into the final week of the season still clinging to postseason aspirations.

Milwaukee has not made a postseason entry since 1982, when an injury to closer and future Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers played a key role in a World Series loss to the Cardinals. Cordero would like nothing more than to get the team back to that position, this time with an experienced option at the back end of the bullpen.

The "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" winner is selected by a special Major League Baseball "yellow-ribbon" panel that includes Mike Bauman, national columnist for MLB.com; Rich "Goose" Gossage, the nine-time All-Star pitcher; Darryl Hamilton, former Major League outfielder and a member of the MLB On-Field Operations staff; Jerome Holtzman, the official MLB historian and a member of the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame; and Bob Watson, vice president, on-field operations, Major League Baseball.

At the conclusion of the season, Major League Baseball fans have the opportunity to determine which relief pitcher had the best overall season and deserves the third annual "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." A list of finalists will be selected based on statistical qualifiers and fans will be able to vote for the winner online at MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. The "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award" will be presented during the Major League Baseball postseason.

Other nominees include: J.J. Putz of the Seattle Mariners, Jonathan Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox, Joe Nathan of the Minnesota Twins, Jason Isringhausen of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jose Valverde of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Takashi Saito of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bobby Jenks of the Chicago White Sox and Trevor Hoffman of the San Diego Padres.

Cordero has solid credentials. He did not allow a run until his 17th appearance and converted his first 22 save opportunities with a 0.36 ERA, conjuring comparisons to Fingers, who won the AL MVP and AL Cy Young Award in 1982. Cordero did not allow a home run until June 30, then did not allow another until Saturday in Atlanta.

The All-Star bid was the second of his career. Cordero represented the Rangers on the AL All-Star team in 2004, but lost that team's closer's job in April 2006, and three months later was packaged in a trade to Milwaukee.

"It's an unbelievable feeling when you arrive at the field this morning and the first thing you hear is that you're going back to the All-Star Game," Cordero said on thee day he was picked. "From losing my job last year, coming in this year and making the All-Star Game, this is exciting. It's unbelievable. I don't know how to describe it. It's a beautiful feeling."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.