Madson, 33, has been holding private workouts with teams to show that he is progressing well from Tommy John surgery. He originally underwent the procedure after tearing an elbow ligament in spring training of 2012 with the Reds. He missed all of that season, then signed a one-year deal with the Angels in the offseason.
He ended up seeing set-backs in his recovery, causing him to miss all of the 2013 season as well. The Angels released him Aug. 5 after realizing he would never help the team. This offseason teams will be extra-cautious to be sure he is on pace to be healthy sometime for the 2014 season, otherwise he is unlikely to be signed.
Prior to signing with the Reds in 2012, Madson had spent his entire career with the Phillies. He became the team's full-time closer in 2011, the last year he pitched. In 62 games, he posted a 2.37 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He had also put up big strikeout numbers the last few years he played. After such a long recovery, it's unclear what kind of pitcher Madson will be upon his return.
After his 2011 campaign, Madson had been offered $44 million for four years from the Phillies before negotiations fell apart and the team signed Jonathan Papelbon to his current contract. Instead, Madson settled for the one-year deal with the Reds in free agency.
Any team willing to sign Madson would almost certainly be able to bring him in on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. It's hard to imagine someone risking a major league deal on someone who hasn't pitched in two years due to an injury from which they are still not fully recovered.