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.