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:
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.