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Ryan Madson hopes to stay with the Phillies, but wants to be a closer

Mar 8, 2011, 12:21 PM EDT

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Ryan Madson is in the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal and the setup man told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he “would love the opportunity to stay and finish my career here.”

Madson also told Gelb that he’d like the chance to be a closer and with the Phillies likely to decline their $12.5 million option on Brad Lidge for 2012 there’s an opportunity to assume ninth-inning duties in Philadelphia.

Gelb speculates that the payroll won’t have enough room to keep both Madson and Lidge, but it remains to be seen if the Phillies are comfortable with the notion of Madson as a full-time closer. He’s struggled at times when asked to fill in for Lidge, but Madson’s overall body of work as a setup man shows him as one of the elite relievers in all of baseball and there’s little doubt he could translate that success to the closer role if given an extended shot.

Of course, Madson has been so consistently excellent as a setup man that several teams are likely to offer him a closing gig if he hits the open market. Since moving to the bullpen full time in 2007 he has a 3.01 ERA and more strikeouts (252) than hits allowed (242) in 269 innings. During that time the only relievers in baseball to throw as many innings as Madson with a lower ERA are Mariano Rivera, Heath Bell, Carlos Marmol, and Darren Oliver.

  1. Jonny 5 - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    I have a man crush on Madson. He’s really dreamy…… Uhhh, I mean damn good pitcher. I hope Lidge is not offered a contract in 2012, He’s a good guy, no offense Brad. I’d like to see Madson resigned and given the chance to close honestly. Lidge scares me, he’s always scared me, and I expect this season to be no different. I also expect Big man Jose to put on a hell of a show this season. As long as he’s not allowed to gather dust he’s B-A-D.

  2. Utley's Hair - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    I have mixed feelings about Mad Dog as closer. He hasn’t exactly been stellar when given the chance to close. He’s a hell of a setup guy, but his blown save numbers aren’t exactly comforting.

  3. cur68 - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Uh, no suggestion of a bromance from this writer, I just want to say that the Jays REALLY REALLY need a closer. Thank you gentlemen. I’ll just leave you alone with Madson now…

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:15 PM

      Hey, now…get yer grubby little eyes off Jonny 5’s man crush!!!!!

      • cur68 - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        They’re not grubby and I can looks if I wants to, so nyaaaa! I’m looking, I’m looking! Ha.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Don’t you MAKE me turn this car around!!!!!!

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