Nationals have interest in Ryan Madson

Kevork Djansezian

After seeing him throw a bullpen session last Friday, the Nationals are reportedly interested in Ryan Madson.

The Nationals are interested in free-agent reliever Ryan Madson, according to a report from James Wagner of the Washington Post.

Madson threw a bullpen session for 15 major league teams last Friday, and per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the former Phillies closer was clocked at 93 mph during the audition. The 33-year-old's performance was impressive enough for the Nationals to remain interested in Madson, who has also been linked with the Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, and Mets in recent weeks.

Madson hasn't appeared in the majors since 2011 after tearing a ligament in his right elbow during spring training with the Reds in 2012. He signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Angels last offseason, but numerous setbacks prevented him from returning to the major leagues before the club released him in August.

Despite his recent injury troubles, Madson could be a cheap but valuable pick-up for a team in need of bullpen depth. The right-hander saved 32 games for the Phillies back in 2011, compiling a 2.37 ERA and 62 walks to just 16 strikeouts. Before becoming the team's closer, Madson served as a reliable set-up man in Philadelphia for multiple seasons. From 2007 to 2010, he posted an ERA no higher than 3.26, while striking out more than three times as many batters as he walked over that span.

The Tommy John Surgery he underwent in 2012 has since derailed his career, but that hasn't stopped teams from showing an interest in Madson this winter.

The Nationals likely wouldn't depend upon Madson to carry a heavy workload. Rafael Soriano has the closer role all tied up, and the team's bullpen also features multiple dependable relievers in Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Craig Stammen, and Jerry Blevins, who the team acquired in a trade with the Athletics this offseason.

It's unknown at this point if Madson would be ready to pitch on Opening Day. Given his injury track record, he might have to sign a minor league deal in order to prove himself.

Nevertheless, with the Nationals and others said to be interested, there is a good chance that Madson signs on with a major league club in the coming weeks.

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