Posted on: January 11, 2012 1:18 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:53 am
The Reds got an excellent closer on a reasonable contract when they agreed to an $8.5-million, one-year contract with ex-Phillie Ryan Madson. What did Madson get? He received the opportunity to close for a very good young team where he has the chance to rack up saves before hitting the free-agent market again next year.
Madson came close to doing a $44-million, four-year deal with the Phillies earlier this winter, as everyone knows by now. But Madson's agent Scott Boras wanted to make it clear that Madson did not reject that proposal, as has been suggested in some places on the blogosphere, and in fact informed the Phillies he was ready to sign back with the Phillies for that $44-million deal he said was proposed. "He told the Phillies he would accept it, and the Phillies decided not to execute it,'' Boras said by phone.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has denied that the deal fell apart because club president Dave Montgomery wouldn't approve it but declined to get into the specifics of how it blew up. Word was, the sides were discussing relatively minor items such as incentives when Amaro raised the idea of needing to go to Montgomery, though Amaro has since said that Montgomery knew all along where things stood and was not the reason the deal didn't go down. The Phillies ultimately signed Jonathan Papelbon for $50 million over four years shortly after the deal with Madson blew up.
The Phillies at some point tried to re-engage Madson about returning on a much lower deal, but after being under the impression he had a deal with his old team for $44 million Madson never re-entered serious talks with his old team.
In any case, the Reds were the beneficiary of the deal that blew up, getting the improving reliever who saved 30 of 32 chances in his first year with the bulk of the closing time. He went 4-2 with 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 inings.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:21 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:53 am
The Cincinnati Reds have turned themselves into a major player in a competitive division with three big moves this winter.
Their surprise signing of closer Ryan Madson was perhaps the best of the trio of impactful acquisitions, following the four-for-one-trade for starter Mat Latos and the pitching swap of starter Travis Wood for lefthanded reliever Sean Marshall. Madson comes on a one-year deal, giving himself a chance to rack up a lot of saves on a very good team while giving the Reds a reasonable deal for the righthander who established his closing credentials just last year with his very nice season in Philadelphia.
The Madson agreement, first reported by CBSSports.com, shores up a solid bullpen that was already enhanced with the importing of Marshall, one of the game's better lefty relievers. The rotation is probably still the Reds' biggest area of concern, but Latos brings another big young arm. Latos went to Cincinnati in a risky trade of four top prospects, but he is the No. 2 pitcher they had been seeking. He earned a rep for immaturity in San Diego, but perhaps a fresh start with a contender will help.
The Cardinals still look solid even after losing superstar Albert Pujols, thanks to the return of Adam Wainwright and free-agent pickup of Carlos Beltran, but the Brewers may take a step back unless they can somehow find a way to keep Prince Fielder. Meanwhile, the Reds, who badly underachieved last year following a playoff season in 2010, definitely look like a team to be reckoned with.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:54 am
Talks between closer Ryan Madson and the Reds are in the serious stage, according to people involved in the discussions. One person went so far as to say they are "heating up.''
The Reds are simultaneously talking to their incumbent closer Francisco Cordero, as well. They are seen as likely to sign one or the other.
The Rangers, Marlins and Angels are among teams that have considered Madson in recent days. He had a big year closing for the Phillies after taking over for Brad Lidge.
Madson was close to a deal with the Phillies earlier this winter. The Phillies are believed to have checked in again recently but that was seen as a long shot. The Phillies are more likely to sign Brad Lidge or Kerry Wood.
Posted on: January 7, 2012 12:34 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 6:35 am
The Texas Rangers have checked in on Ryan Madson, who's still a free agent closer. He doesn't appear to be a perfect fit, but the Rangers front office has proven to be one of the most creative and surprising in baseball over the past several years. So who knows?
The Rangers have their hand in a lot of things (currently their most pressing thing is signing star Japanese starter Yu Darvish). They did previously think about trading for Andrew Bailey, the closer traded from the A's to the Red Sox, and that's at least a sign they are considering improving a very solid bullpen.
The Rangers already have Joe Nathan, Mike Adams and if you want to count Neftali Feliz, who's moving to the rotation, well, they have him, too. Nathan was signed to be the closer after a nice second half in 2011 following his retur from Tommy John surgery, and he surely expects to be the closer. Would Madson come as a setup man? Would they ask Nathan to work in the eighth inning? While Nathan has a vast experience edge, Madson would appear to be the better choice of the two to close, as he saved 32 of 34 chances last year for the Phillies with 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings.
Maybe this is just the Rangers doing their due diligence. Or maybe it's them trying to keep an eye on the rival Angels, who already have made the biggest moves of all this spring by landing big-time free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the former Rangers ace. The Rangers landed Adrian Beltre late last winter when they already had Michael Young for third base. They find a way.
Several teams have checked in on Madson. Some of them, no doubt, are just looking for a bargain on one of the better closers in the game last year. Even the Phillies are said to hcve checked back in, weeks after a potential deal with Madson blew up (GM Ruben Amaro declined to comment on that). But there's just about zero chance of a reunion there.
There's probably still a better chance Madson winds up with the Angels, who are also considering a run at him, or perhaps the Reds, who are still in the market for a closer. The Angels have publicly downplayed their chances to sign Madson. But behind the scenes, some of their people have talked about how beneficial it would be to have a veteran back-end presence to go with talanted sophomore Jordan Walden. They should have a lot of save chances. So maybe they do make a run at Madson. And maybe they perk up a bit if they think Texas might land him.