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Report: Phillies appear close to re-signing Ryan Madson

Nov 8, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Last night the Phillies were said to be “making a strong push” to re-sign Ryan Madson and now Jon Heyman of reports that the two sides are closing in on a new contract.

According to Heyman they’re “in serious discussions” and it’s “hard to imagine it not getting done soon.”

One benefit to re-signing Madson rather than replacing him with another free agent closer is that the Phillies wouldn’t have to surrender a first-round pick. The other benefit, of course, is that Madson is really, really good even if took the Phillies five years to realize he could handle ninth-inning duties.

Philadelphia has also been linked to Jonathan Papelbon, but it seems clear that he’s merely the fallback option to retaining Madson, who saved 32 games with a 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio in 61 innings this season at age 30.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    I know Biceps won’t like this, but I do. They need somebody to anchor the bullpen. I like the young relievers but Venters and Kimbral they are not. Pappelbon and Bell would probably be more expensive and I don’t think they are better than Madson anyway. Also, 3rd tier options like Joe Nathon and Jonothan Broxton are not the least bit appealing.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      Before I give my opinion, I want to see the dollar figures. But, I swear, if this signing screws them to improve in other area, I will be extremely pissed.

      • mox19380 - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        How’s it screw them so much? They save about $36mil on Oswalt, Lidge, and Ibanez alone. Cole will get about a $4-5mil bump. Pence will probably get about a $3mil bump and if rollins comes back it’s about a $3-4mil bump up. Aside from that they’re dealing with afford arbitration players…. I’m just not completely clear how signing Madson (which is essentially just replacing the Lidge contract) screws us?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        Also, have to factor in the large raises due to Lee and Howard.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:55 PM


        Besides all of the obvious raises, it does affect flexibility. I am on record that Oswalt should be resigned. No one will ever convince me that any closer is worth a starter. I take Oswalt’s back risk into consideration.

        You don’t even bring up that this team needs a new 3rd baseman and a leftfielder, along with bench help. Where’s that money come from? This team is not going over the luxury tax. That’s the bottom line.

        This lineup was anemic once again in the playoffs. They need a remake. Giving Madson a big contract does nothing to help their #1 need.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        Mayberry Jr. will be in LF. They need cheap, young talent.

      • mox19380 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        They still have $48 mill coming off the books… with the Chooch, Howard, Chase, Polly, Vict, Doc, Lee, Blanton, contreras and Thome, they’re on the hook for about $109mil…They get Kendrick, Worley, Bastardo, Mayberry, Pence, Herndon, and Martinez in arbitration. total of those arbitration deals I would estimate no more than $30-33mill.

        So thats approx $142 in sarlaries with the 2012 luxury tax to be around to $185ish (maybe more)….

        So there’s $43 million in wiggle room before the tax. Again seems to me there is some flexibility with $43 million dollars

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM


        Are you factoring in Hamels? We have no idea whether or not they will buy out his arbitration with a long-term deal or just deal with his arbitration this year.

        What about Cliff Lee? He jumps from 11.5 to 22-23 mil this year.

        43 million seems to be too much. I have not read anywhere that they have that much to play with for 2012 FA.

      • mox19380 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        I did factor Hamels. I think we’ll be surprised that Hamels isn’t going to get huge starter money. Just think of Lincecum and other pitchers around his age. Lincecum is in the second of a 2yr $23 million dollar deal. Thats a great barometer for what Cole can expect Pence got $6.9 last year he’s not going to get more than $10, $12 Max.

        I did factor all the bumps in pay. Check out They list all contracts including escalators. Check my math but based on my calcs they definitely should not be over $145. I also am not taking into account FA’s like Valdez, Francisco, Orr, or Baez. But I can only see Valdez and possibly Orr coming back and probably with only a minimal raise

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        His figures are basically correct. David Murphy did a piece like this a few weeks or so ago. I think if Hamels goes to arbitration they are looking at about 14 million this season. If they sign him to an extension, it will be more like the Weaver 5 year 90 million deal….if not more. Orr was signed as to a minor league contract by the way.

      • CJ - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        I need to double check my medication. I’m finding myself agreeing with cepts more frequently lately. Must be the time change.

        Anyway, I think whether this move is good or not largely depends on the $ involved. If Madsom pulls in $12 MM or more this year, they overpaid for a perceived, hypotetical need merely because everyone else is. This team doesn’t need a solid closer as much as other teams. They’re toward the tops in the majors in CGs. They need bats. There’s a lot of scratch to play with for the moment, but not near the 45 that the one mox is projecting. Your math is a little off. The truth is way closer to 25 than 45. Bats + guys that pitch deep into games = less reliance on the bullpen. That’s how this team has been built, and that’s the plan they need to stick to. The bullpen didn’t cost them in the postseason more than anyone else’s, their lineup is what cost them.

        Mayberry can’t be pencilied in at LF. He’s playing 1st until Howard returns, it’s already been stated that they won’t rely on Thome in that role. So who’s playing Left? Brown? I don’t think so. Francisco? Not trustworthy for an extended period of time. Who’s playing short? I’m on the record saying they can and should go young here and spend elsewhere. They should do the same in the bullpen: go young, see what the kids have and if they can’t cut it, make a move midseason. Save the money to improve the lineup and solidify the backend of the rotation. I’m fine with Worely as a 4, but we need a 5. Kendrick can stay in the bullpen as a longman, and Fat Joe must go.

        Even potentially bringing in Cuddyer to play 3rd leaves LF open until Howard returns. So there’s still a need for a guy who can play left for an extended period of time, but be willing to come off the bench as well. So they have about 30 mil or so, minus Madson, minus a potential Cuddyer or similar, saving room for a potential mvoe near the deadline if the bullpen or SS falters. And STILL need a LF, veteran SS (if they choose to go in that direction), and/or 5th starter. That’s not a lot of flexibility

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        Somebody who would be good in LF and be willing to come off the bench? Who would that be? Look through the list of free agents, the pickings are slim. You are left with somebody like Ibanez or Reed Johnson. Honestly, I’d take my chances with Brown rather than have to turn to those two for any significant amount of time. Also, I hear people saying…”if it is a problem, make a deal in the season”….decent bullpen arms tend to be expensive with in season trades. So, further deplete the farm system for not handling a problem which can be dealt with now? Makes no sense. Seriously though, his numbers are pretty accurate. I will see if I can find the David Murphy piece….he broke it down.

      • mox19380 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        On the plus side we’ll get a lot of draft picks… Assuming we let at least one of the big names walk.

        If it’s a toss up to do you resign Rollins or Madson?

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        According to Baseball Reference the Phillies have in Committed Salaries for 2012 – $111.7M (that’s for 10 players (Howard, Lee, Utley, Halladay, Blanton, Victorino, Polanco, Ruiz, Contreras and Thome plus the buyout clauses of Lidge and Oswalt).
        Now add into that just Hamels and Pence the main 2 arbitration cases they should come to about: $25M +/-. That’s approximately $136M for just 12 players.
        Now there is resigning Madson and say Rollins that might come to about $20M +/-. That brings the total for just 14 players to about $156M +/-.
        Possible signing Cuddyer another say $12M +/- that brings the total to $168M for just 15 players. The Phillies still need to sign 10 players to fill out the 25 man active roster. Now most of those are 2nd time pre-arbitration and currently 2nd year arbitration cases on the Phillies roster. The 10 unnamed players should come to about $8 to 10M total.
        Using the lower total of $8M that brings the 25 man active roster for the Phillies for 2012 to about $176M +/-. That’s with no substantial changes in their roster over 2011 in players other than the anticipated signing of Cuddyer. Now my math may be off a little but I think it’s relatively very close.

        Just my unbiased opinion but I don’t see a lot of wiggle room in the Phillies payroll for 2012 if they intend to stay around the luxury tax threshold. Mainly because I don’t see MLB/Players union agreeing to much of an annual increase in the luxury threshold for the 2012 season under the new CBA.

        Note I’m not sure but I believe the luxury tax is calculated on the teams 40 man roster not just the 25 man active roster.

      • mox19380 - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:29 AM

        Buyouts don’t count towards payroll. So the Lidge and Oswalt money is just coming from the Phillies vault but won’t count towards the luxury tax or payroll

    • okobojicat - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      If anything is done that bicepts doesn’t like, then it is most probably the right move.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        Ha Ha Ha. You’re a funny guy.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      I definitely think Papelbon is better but he would be a lot more expensive both in dollars and years probably. And don’t forget the Phillies would lose 2 draft choices if they signed Papelbon a 1st round and supplement round selection. That’s why I think all 3 closers Papelbon, Bell and Madson all go back to their 2011 teams.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        I wouldn’t sign any of them. They are closers, 1 inning pitchers. For the type of coin they pay these guys, it takes away from other areas, especially for a team like the Phillies that are pushing against the luxury tax and have other needs to address.

        If I were the Phillies, I find what young pitcher they have that can assume the role and if no one can do it, you make a deal via trade. The Phillies have that luxury because of their starting rotation. They can wait.

        I just hope they haven’t blown a load on Madson.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        Actually, they only lose one pick. The second pick Boston gets is a supplemental pick that’s generated out of thin air. I generally agree with ‘cepts, though – most closers aren’t worth the years or dollar figures they get on the FA market. Mariano is the only exception.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        What actually happens if the Philies and Red Sox swapped Papelbon and Madson is that they would BOTH benefit (though Philly more so). Each would gain the other’s first-rounder (which would be an advantage for Philly), and then each would get a supplemental pick as well.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        Ari, the thing is in your scenario the Sox would be getting a closer at probably about 60 to 65% of what Papelbon would cost the Phillies and who knows about the number of years. So I’m not sure the Phillies would be getting the better of the deal.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        UYF, I think you misunderstand just how good Madson really is. He will not be paid much less than Papelbon actually. I’ll bet they are VERY close in salary, like VERY close.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        Jonny 5 – maybe you’re right. But I figured Papelbon to get about $13.5M per year and I figured Madson to command about $9M. That’s why I said he would be making about 65% of what Papelbon figures to sign for. I guess I’m looking at it from the standpoint of Madson only made $4.8M in 2011 so about $9M seemed reasonable to me. But you should know better than me.

  2. eaglebobby - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    uyf, the Phils wouldn’;t lose TWO draft picks. They lose their 1st rounder for signing a Type A FA, the second draft pick is just a pick awarded by MLB–it has nothing to do with the team. Abd they’re going to lose their 1st rounder anyway, if rumors are correct and they’re signing Cuddyer. On that note, something that I didn’t realize is that evey year the threshold for the tax for going over a certain amount in payroll goes up on average 8M–so that means the Phils payroll will be able to go up.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      The threshold for the luxury tax in 2011 the last year of the current CBA is $178M I believe. I don’t think anyone knows what the luxury tax thresholds will be when the new CBA is agreed to and signed. But I doubt it will change very much. That’s just a guess on my part.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      eaglebobby – you’re wright I guess my point was and why I said the closers would probably sign with their original team was because I didn’t see the Phillies losing that draft choice to sign another closer from another team when they have a perfectly good closer that they can resign without losing the the draft choice. And please correct me if I wrong but wouldn’t the Phillies lose that “other” draft choice if the sign 2 Type A free agents? I know that’s what happened to the Yankees when they sighed both CC and Tex in for the 2009 season. That’s another reason why the Phillies wouldn’t bit on either Papelbon or Bell if indeed they intend to sign Cuddyer.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Also, saying it took 5 years to realize Madson could handle the 9th inning is completely misleading. Yes, Madson has been pitching in relief for 5 years but who could have guessed he would be this good in year one. Then, Lidge was perfect in 2008. Also, they gave him a shot to close some games in 2009 and 2010 and wasn’t exactly doing a stellar job of it.

    • mox19380 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

      i was about to post that. Prior to 2011 Madson had blown 54% of his save opportunities…

    • bigxrob - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      It should say “it took Madson 5 years to realize he could handle the 9th inning”

  4. twd1165 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Knowing the Phils, they’ll let JRoll walk and roll the dice with a lower tier free agent until Galvis is ready and use the draft pick that they gained to offset the one they’ll lose when they sign Cuddyer.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Rolling the dice on a guy like Galvis that can’t hit a lick and isn’t ready for the big leagues would be a big mistake. I have no problem if Rollins walks, but they will need to sign a stop gap for 1 year.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        cepts he did say: roll the dice with a lower tier free agent… UNTIL Galvis is ready. He wasn’t suggesting to promote Galvis at 21.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      If so, it should be Clint Barmes. He is a defensive stud.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        With all the Phillies gave up in the Pence deal, I was surprised they didn’t insist on getting him included. I said so at the time.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        What’s wrong with Clint Barmes? According to a baseball reference, in the two season in which he played at least 120 games at SS his dWAR was 1.5 in 2006 and 1.5 in 2011. That is exceptional…hence, he is a defensive stud.

  5. dirtyharry1971 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Signing Madison and Thome fixes everything, i dont see why phillie should make another move with the exception of signing Moyer to take Oswalt’s spot. This just in, Phillies are the favorite to win the 2012 WS!!!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:23 PM

      Thanks for contributing your usual bullshit nonsense.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Nov 8, 2011 at 11:24 PM

        the next time you write something even remotely intelligent will be the first time

  6. Francisco (FC) - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    You guys need to read my Troll post in the Lair again…

  7. Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    IMO… WOOT!!!

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