Ryan Madson, Phillies Apparently Not That Close To Agreeing To Big Giant Contract

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 07: Ryan Madson #46 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Remember when the Philadelphia Phillies didn't trust Ryan Madson as a closer? In my head, I've probably made it a bigger issue than it was, but I do recall that there was some hesitation. Then Madson became the closer anyway and saved 32 games this last season, with a 2.37 ERA. Then Madson became a free agent. Now Madson looks like he's going to return and make some bank. Jim Duquette:

Hearing #Phils closing in on 4 year deal with closer Ryan Madson. If so, nice job getting this done on both sides !

Various sources, including Yahoo!'s Tim Brown, say that Madson's going to get $44 million over four years, with a fifth-year option. Nothing is set in stone yet and things could fall apart in an instant because who knows, but something tells me Madson and Scott Boras aren't going to let this contract get away.

There had been recent reports that talks between Madson and the Phillies had heated up. There were also reports that the Phillies were interested in Jonathan Papelbon, but Madson brings some familiarity. And maybe a lower price, although, now, I'm not sure.

The analysis on this one is very simple. Ryan Madson is a good relief pitcher. Probably a great one. Since 2007, he's posted a 2.89 ERA, with nearly a strikeout an inning and a 4.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ryan Madson's also 31 years old, and the Phillies look like they're going to give him at least four years at $11 million a pop. That is steep. Probably a little too steep, given standard reliever volatility. Ryan Madson's an excellent pitcher who looks like he's going to be overpaid.

But what needs to be taken into account is that Ruben Amaro mints his own money, of which he has an unlimited supply. Slight overpayments can be a big deal, but they're less of a big deal for teams like the Phillies, who spend money like they're allergic to it. Here's what the Phillies wanted to do:

  • Bring back Ryan Madson

Here's what it looks like the Phillies are going to do:

  • Bring back Ryan Madson

I doubt they're too worried about the details, and you shouldn't be, either. Unless your team is also in the market for a free agent closer. In which case, haha.

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