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)

Ryan Madson Joining Cincinnati Reds

The Phillies' closer is replacing Francisco Cordero in Cincinnati, as the Reds make a play for the playoffs.

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14 Total Updates since November 9, 2011
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ESPN: Ryan Madson's Changeup Is Amazing

The Cincinnati Reds, of course, signed Ryan Madson to a one-year contract worth $8.5 million. One year and $8.5 million is a lot lower than four years and $44 million, which is what Madson was rumored to be signing for back in November. You could say that the Ryan Madson household has gone through its own little microrecession. Or at least I think you could say that. I don't really get economics.

Something that's interesting about Madson is that he's right-handed. Wait, no, that isn't interesting at all. What's interesting is that Madson is right-handed and yet highly successful against left-handed hitters. Over the past three years, Madson's allowed a .622 OPS to righties, and a .624 OPS to lefties. What's been the key to Madson's platoon split avoidance?

Mark Simon has a theory:

Madson’s 2011 success was largely due to his holding left-handed hitters to a .198 opponents batting average and .506 opponents OPS, both of which rank among the best in baseball.

He did so with a changeup that was unlike almost any other pitch in the sport. Let’s take a closer look at this pitch.


  • Hitters missed on more than half their swings (52 percent, third-best among right-handers).
  • Hitters chased 62 percent of pitches out of the strike zone (the highest chase rate for a righty in baseball).
  • It was put in play less than 25 percent of the time (fourth-least among right-handed pitchers).

And there's more. Cole Hamels' changeup got a lot of love. It still gets a lot of love. It deserves to. It's really good. But a teammate of Hamels also threw an amazing changeup, and now he'll take it with him to Cincinnati, provided it doesn't get taken away from him in customs. I'm pretty sure Cincinnati is in Canada.


BP: Madson Overpaid? Maybe, But Hard To Go Wrong With One-Year Deal.

Over at Baseball Prospectus, Ben Lindbergh weighs in on Ryan Madson’s new one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds. You should read the whole thing, but here’s Lindbergh’s big finish:

Regardless of Madson’s potentially less-than-perfect makeup, the signing seems like a success for the Reds and a rare black eye for Scott Boras, who sniped at Ruben Amaro like an agent spurned yesterday. Granted, $8.5 million is a substantial raise from the middle reliever money he was making before, but it’s a disappointing sum for someone who was reportedly on the verge of re-signing for four years and $44 million a few months ago. If Boras did play hardball with Amaro, it would seem that he misread a market that featured only a few late-inning openings with well-heeled teams. He called the deal he did get his client a "pillow contract," suggesting that Madson could spend a comfortable season in Cincinnati before testing the waters again next winter. While Madson may sleep soundly with an $8.5 million pillow, he probably would’ve preferred the whole bed.

Heh. “Pillow contract”. I’m going to try to remember that one.


Reports Of Scott Boras's Decline ...

Ryan Madson settled for a one-year deal after expecting something much bigger. Has Scott Boras lost his touch?


RED REPORTER: Madson Move Gives Reds "Dynamite" Bullpen

The Reds have been busy this offseason, as they've been paying attention to the big stars leaving the division, the Cubs' commitment to rebuilding, and the Pirates and Astros running in place. Earlier in the offseason, they traded for left-handed reliever Sean Marshall, who was supposed to shore up the late innings with Nick Masset, Bill Bray, and Jose Arredondo.

Then the Reds got busier, signing the best reliever left on the market (and by some measures, the best reliever who was on the market in the first place.) The good folks at Red Reporter are thrilled:

The $8.5M that Jerry Crasnick is reporting for Madson's one year deal is not a pittance. Although we may not understand fully how to evaluate reliever leverage and the "chaining" effect of relievers on the quality of the bullpen as a whole, it's still difficult to justify, in strict money for wins terms, paying a closer what you might pay a #2 starter. Madson, however, is not only the best closer on the market, he's probably the best free agent left that the Reds can afford.

The Reds still have a hole in their outfield, and RR wonders if the money would have been better spent on a $4 million Cody Ross and another reliever. But considering what the Phillies and Marlins paid out to Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell, respectively, it would be hard to consider this an especially risky move for the Reds.


Ryan Madson, Reds Deal Worth $8.5 Million

Ryan Madson is now a Cincinnati Red, and the only thing we knew for sure was that he was going to cost the Reds tens of millions of dollars less than Jonathan Papelbon will cost the Phillies. But whereas Madson's original contract was pegged as one year, $10 million, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick comes with an update:

Ryan Madson deal is for $8.5M for one year, source says

Once you get past the stigma that every post-arbitration closer is overpaid, this is a pretty low-risk, high-reward deal for the Reds, who are building a team with a Pujols- and Prince-free NL Central in mind.

The most surprising part isn't the one-year deal if this nugget from John Fay is true:

Told there's an option

A team option? That would be a huge coup for the Reds, as they wouldn't have to deal with any of the risk that usually comes with a long-term closer contract. A player option would make more sense, as if Madson suffers a serious injury, he would at least get to salvage another year as a consolation prize.

From MLB Trade Rumors, here's a list of the other closers on the free-agent market next year, in case you were wondering:

Matt Capps
Kyle Farnsworth
Brandon League
Juan Carlos Oviedo (née Leo Nunez)
J.J. Putz
Mariano Rivera
Joakim Soria
Huston Street
Jose Valverde

Stiff competition. Here's a guess that he's one of the first closers to sign next year.


Reds Sign Madson, Making Point (Again)

With the signing of free agent Ryan Madson, the Cincinnati Reds send yet another signal that they're serious about winning in 2012.


Ryan Madson, Cincinnati Reds Reach Agreement

It's been an interesting offseason for Ryan Madson. There was the rumor that he re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for four years and $44 million. Then that rumor didn't come true. Then the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon. Then Madson kind of floated around for a while.

Tuesday brought news. Last year, Francisco Cordero was the closer for the Cincinnati Reds. Then Cordero became a free agent. Cordero's agent and the Reds had talks, but Cordero wanted multiple years, and the Reds didn't want to guarantee multiple years. So the Reds got involved with Madson. Jon Heyman, early Tuesday:

ryan madson in serious talk with #reds. cincy has also been talking to cordero

John Fay, later Tuesday:

#Reds source says they've talked to everyone still out there. Downplayed Madson.

And finally, Jon Heyman, late Tuesday:

#reds, madson in agreement.

There we are. There's no word yet on the terms of the deal, but given that Madson is a Scott Boras client, and given that Madson is good, the Reds probably aren't getting their new closer at a tremendous discount. They probably also aren't getting him at four years and $44 million. We'll see.

You know Madson. He's 31. He's been a really good reliever for five years in a row. He limits his walks and he averages better than a strikeout an inning. He's not a sure thing going forward, since nobody is, but he's a better bet going forward than Cordero, whose strikeout rate has done this:

2007: 33%
2008: 25%
2009: 21%
2010: 19%
2011: 15%


Anyway, Madson joins Sean Marshall and Mat Latos as significant additions to a Reds team that is clearly gunning for the playoffs. I'm not sure the Reds are better than the St. Louis Cardinals, but thanks to the Wild Card(s), they don't necessarily need to be.


Angels Not Likely To Sign Ryan Madson

At one point, Ryan Madson thought he had a deal to return to the Phillies on a four year, $44 million contract. A couple months later, Madson is running out of teams who are interested in him. From Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times of Los Angeles:

There have been persistent Internet rumors linking the Angels to free-agent closer Ryan Madson, but General Manager Jerry Dipoto said it is "very, very unlikely" the team will acquire the former Philadelphia Phillies relief ace, or any closer, for that matter.

Of course, here's another Dipoto quote from November:

Dipoto said it is "always my preference" to make "impact moves" via trades rather than free-agent signings

That whole article is worth reading once a week, really.

So if the Angels are out, that leaves the Reds and Twins as teams that a) are still without a closer, and b) might be willing to spend a little bit on a closer. But the Twins are likely close to their payroll limit, and they've already committed $4.75 million to Matt Capps. And while the Reds might be interested, they can also turn to Francisco Cordero, who has held the job ably in Cincinnati for the past four seasons.

It's looking more and more likely that Madson will either settle for a setup job, or take a short-term deal and test the free-agent market again next year.


MLB Free-Agent Contract Prediction: Ryan Madson

Remember when the reports said that Ryan Madson was returning to the Phillies for four years and $44 million? He sure does.


The Trade Market For Closers

The Royals and A's are both rebuilding teams that might like to get a whole bunch of prospects for their current closer, but is that a realistic hope?


The Ryan Madson Damage Is Already Done

Regardless of whether Ryan Madson signs a four-year, $44 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the talk is going to have an impact on the market.


Ryan Madson, Phillies Don't Have Deal Yet

Yesterday the baseball world was abuzz over the reported 4-year, $44 million deal that the Philadelphia Phillies were set to give to Ryan Madson. It's pretty rare for a team to give $11 million annually to a starting pitcher, and it's especially rare for a closer to get that kind of deal.

Ruben Amaro, Jr. couldn't comment on the deal, and we figured his silence wasn't because the contract wasn't finalized, but because he physically couldn't comment. Figured there was probably a cigar in his mouth, lit with a $1,000,000 bill that he paid the Federal Reserve to print just for him for situations just like this. Hard to talk with that thing in your mouth. But it turns out, the deal wasn't done. From Ken Rosenthal:

While reported that Phillies general partner David Montgomery has yet to approve the supposed agreement, multiple sources said Wednesday that the two sides never reached a deal.

Looks like the closer market hasn't been broken just yet, with the Phillies also talking to* Jonathan Papelbon to keep their options open. Madson is still available, and the Nationals are supposedly interested according to Rosenthal.

* grunting at

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