Reds Get Madson

Ryan Madson wants to be a closer, so while the Phillies would have loved to have had him in their 2012 bullpen as a setup man, he is headed to Cincinnati on a one-year, $8.5 million contract.

I never would have predicted that in November.

Back in November it appeared the Phillies and Madson were close to a four-year, $44 million extension. But the negotiations hit a snag (one side said they had a verbal agreement, the other side said they didn’t) and the Phillies decided to spend $6 million more to sign Jonathan Papelbon. Meanwhile, the closing opportunities for Madson dried up and instead of getting the monster pay day he hoped, he has to pitch in Cincinnati for one season before hitting the market again. That’s not exactly how Scott Boras planned it, but that’s the situation.

It will be a strange spring training without Madson and possibly Brad Lidge in the clubhouse. They were the final two pieces of the 2008 World Series bullpen. But there is still a chance Lidge is back. He remains unsigned, and the longer he is out there I think the chances improve the Phillies could sign him to a Minor League deal. Read Paul Hagen‘s story on Lidge here.

Hagen recently joined MLB.com after leaving the Daily News. He is an awesome addition to our staff. Hagen will be writing plenty of national stories, but he’ll get a chance to write his share of Phillies stories, too. That’s great for everybody. I actually meant to post this back in December, but … welcome aboard, Paul. Thrilled to have you on the team.

20 Comments

Glad to see that Paul Hagen is with MLB.com. I always enjoyed his work with the Daily News and given how traditional papers are faring these days, good to see him get a nice position.
As for Madsen, I think the fact that several times in the past the Phillies tried him as a closer and it didn’t work and then it finally did last year has folks wary about him. Closers so easily can lose their mojo, that folks want one with a proven track record and one year just ain’t enough to know for sure. I do wish him all the best.

I agree, Deb. I was pleased to see Paul Hagen writing articles here too.

I would have liked for Madson to accept arbitration, but I suppose that wasn’t in his best interests. I guess he still has to prove himself as a closer.
Maybe he’d be better off without Boras as well.

That was the best part of the deal…… Boarass himself lost money!

Todd: I wonder if my perception is real or not that Madson’s velocity was down this season versus the previous season. If so could that have been a factor?

Paul Hagen’s addition to MLB.com is bigger news that Madson & Boras screwing the pooch on his free agency. Wait until Ryan and his wife get a load of Cincy…., hot, night life that makes the Amish look like swingers, hot, lousy restaurants, did I mention hot?

jinnymack, there’s always Kentucky across the river.

Glad to see Paul Hagen land at MLB. He’s a great addition. Madson’s offseason has been strange from the get go. It’s hard to know who screwed this up or if signing the one year deal will enable Madson to make big bucks in the free agent market next year when they’re aren’t so many closers out there. The Reds are a good team however, going from life in Philly to life in Cinncy will be quite a culture shock I’m sure.

guess you got your competition, Todd. As for Madson, hope he learns his lesson and gets a real agent for next year- one who cares about the player and not his own PR

FIJ, they were competitors when Todd worked for the Inquirer. They’re more like teammates now. There’s plenty of work for two writers on this site, even though it looks like Hagen will be writing about more than just the Phils.

I would have liked to see Mad Dog stay as the set-up man.
As for Boros……I wish the players would learn that HE doesn’t have the final word. They do! He’s over-pricing all his players. I heard that Prince Fielder hasn’t even been picked up, yet. And he’s another of Boros’ clients.

Gee, I sure hope Madson can make it through the season on $8.5 million. Players don’t want the final say. That’s why they hire agents. Otherwise, they’d go in and negotiate deals by themselves. The closer market dried up quickly once Papelbon, Bell and Nathan signed.
In the best interests of Madson’s career, there was no point in him returning as a set-up man. As it is, he’ll go back on the market at the end of the season to go through this all over again. If he’s any good (and we still don’t know if he is) then he’ll get his money.
He’s in a good spot in Cincinnati. They have a good chance at the playoffs and if not, then they’ll deal him to another team that does, at the trading deadline..

I just heard that he went to Arlington, so maybe he’ll be a Ranger. I guess the Rangers just figured their pitching would suck next year so they might as well just stockpile sluggers….

Boras has a number of high profile players still on the market. As far as Madson’s deal is concerned, the only ones who win there is the Reds. They got a closer at a great price and I am sure the market shrunk because of Boras. He is losing his touch and the players will have to take notice.

“He is losing his touch and the players will have to take notice” Amen, phan52!.

“Losing his touch?” Ask Jayson Werth if he thinks so. Or Matt Holiday, who signed the biggest contract in Cardinals’ team history. Or Fielder, who in 2011 got the biggest single-season arbitration settlement in Major League history.
Or Gerritt Cole, who in 2011 was the third straight 1st overall draft pick represented by Boras, and who got an $8 million bonus – bigger than Strasberg’s.
He also got Soriano a 3-year $35 million deal with the right to opt-out after each season.
Losing his touch, eh?

Look what’s happening to his clients this year. Madson got screwed and Fielder, Jackson and Pena can’t find a home.

I just gave you three examples from 2011. And it remains to be seen if Madson “got screwed.” He’ll earn $8.5 million on a one-year deal and go back on the market when there aren’t any closers to compete with him. Don’t sweat-out Fielder. He’ll sign someplace. Pena’s a strikeout machine who has hit .196 and .225 the last two years. Think there’s a lot of demand?
Edwin Jackson is a journeyman .500 pitcher.

What does an agent have to do with an arbitration settlement? I could have done that for Fielder.
And Madson got screwed. It’s all about guaranteed money and he should have got a minimum of 27-30 million this offseason. He better have a good season.

K-Rod, another Boras client, just took a $3.5 million paycut in a one year arbitration deal with the Brewers.

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