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UPDATE: Phillies, Ryan Madson close to four-year, $44 million deal

Nov 8, 2011, 6:10 PM EDT

madson ap AP

UPDATE: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports confirms that the two sides are discussing a four-year, $44 million deal with a $13 million vesting option for 2016. Oh, Ruben.

5:52 PM: We learned earlier today that the Phillies and Ryan Madson were closing in on a new contract and now we have some of the details.

Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that the two sides are close to agreeing on a four-year deal with a potential vesting option for a fifth year.

Jon Heyman of hears that they are discussing a deal for about $11 million per season, so we could be looking at a four-year, $44 million contract.

Madson’s agent Scott Boras usually lets these situations play out a little longer, but he would be crazy to leave an offer like this on the table. If this goes down, you can be sure that some of the other high-profile free agent closers (Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez) will be sending Ruben Amaro, Jr. a Christmas card.

  1. Charles Gates - Nov 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    How can I hire Scott Boras for my end of year compensation discussion?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      The question should be, “How can I negotiate against Ruben Amaro Jr. for my yearly compensation?”

      • dennisund - Nov 8, 2011 at 10:54 PM

        He makes up for it with his trades, especially with Ed Wade.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 9, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        In retrospect, were the trades really that good?

  2. uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    To Jonny 5 – Apparently you were closer to what Madson is worth than I was. Depending on how the contract is structured we’ll see if my estimate of $9M for 2012 is close. I have to admit I never would have thought he or for that matter any of the closers on the market this year would get a 4 year deal. Papelbon is probably licking his you know what just about now in anticipation of what he’s looking at both salary and especially years. One thing you can count on though. This will put a little bit of a squeeze on the Phillies overall payroll in 2012.

    • paperlions - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:38 PM

      No, you are closer to his “worth” (though still on the high side), Jonny will just be closer to what he’ll be paid.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:05 PM

      Hey uyf, I actually expected to see more per @3 years and still expect Papelbon to get 3 yrs at around 13-14 per. If he goes 4 though I expect him to be in the same ball park, around 12 per. I’m with PL here on “worth” actually. I don’t value closers like a starter, but obviously ball clubs hold them in higher regard than we do (PL and myself). It is a squeeze on payroll for 2012, unless we see a decent jump in luxury tax threshold anyway. Ask most stat heads and I’d expect them to say Madson and Papelbon are very close in ability with Papelbon being better, So if Madson gets this, Paps get’s just a bit more imo. He’s now licking his chops, yes.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM

        Jonny, the problem is Papelbon is already making $12M per in 2011. Four years even at the $12M per you think is the number is virtually no raise at all if you look at on a year by year basis. That’s the problem I see. I can’t imagine him settling for less than $13.5M per year even on a 4 year deal. Consider that Papelbon has a better track record over a longer period of time and both Madson and Papelbon are virtually the same age. In fact Papelbon is actually a couple of months younger than Madson.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM

        Yeah uyf, but 13-14 IS a raise for 3 years. 4 years on any closer will drop you down annually in salary since 4 years is more risky for the team. I’d be just a little shocked to see him get 13.5 for 4 years. But then again we are talking about Boston, and they have deep pockets too.

      • spudchukar - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:22 PM

        OK, chops, I am relieved.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:27 PM

        Jonny, I don’t know that I would be shocked but I would be surprised to see him being offered 4 years from Boston. I can honestly see the 2 parties digging in their heels and not wanting to budge. I can see Boston letting him walk rather than offer him 4 years and forcing Boston to go to Plan B. I’m just not sure what plan b is at this time. Considering all the other stuff Boston has to tackle this off season such as pitching issues, RF and DH they have a lot on their plate. That doesn’t even begin to address having to replace all the on field people that have left (Manager, Pitching Coach, etc…).

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:50 PM

        I almost forgot about all of the turmoil still in Boston. Yeah, what a mess. I still expect them to sign Papelbon though. I just don’t see Boston letting him go for what another team is willing to put out for him. Unless he really wants out, and I may not blame him.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 9, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        Boston really doesn’t have that much on their plate, guys. A RF upgrade would be good, and I’m a huge fan of signing Beltran, but they have two decent young players with some upside at the position already. Other than that, they’re in the same position every single team is: add an arm or two to the rotation and an arm or two to the ‘pen.

        That said, I don’t think Papelbon is that ‘pen arm if he’s going to approach or surpass $50MM. The biggest contract Boston has given to a reliever since ’03 is the $24MM over three years given to Keith Foulke. And they only got one great year out of that.

        Money is better spent on resigning Ortiz and looking for some back-of-the-rotation arms.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 9, 2011 at 8:49 AM

        Ari, I think they have more on their plate then you are willing to admit. They have to decide what to do with the closer. If not Papelbon, who? Bard clearly is not ready to assume the role. They let Wheeler go, who knows when of if Jenks will pitch in 2012. As for the the 4th and 5th spot in the Sox rotation. Personally I think they need to go out and secure those players. Wakefield is at the end of his career, Weiland and Miller are not the answer even for the back end of the rotation. Also, keep in mind Buchholz has not been very reliable he’s only pitched over 175 innings in one of the last 4 years (2010). The other 3 years under 95 innings each year. Then there is the issue of Youkilis. He clearly has health issues and can not be counted on to man 3rd base for the Sox over a 162 game schedule. Then as we have already discussed here there is the DH position they have to decide what is Ortiz worth in years and dollars and if not him who and the RF position is it Beltran or do they try and stay with Reddick. Lastly, they have to straighten out whatever the problem is with Crawford. They can’t have him perform at the same level in 2012 as he did in 2011. And none of that includes them having to hire a manger, pitching coach a 1st base coach (I believe) and a strength and conditioning person, etc…. So I guess I would disagree with you about the amount of work on their plate.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 9, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        Sure, Boston has to hire a manager and coaches, but there’s not a lot they can do about Crawford other than hope he turns things around, and they have very few holes on the player roster.

        Bard has not “proven” he’s no closer any more than Ryan Madson was purported to have proven that before this year. They currently have Bard, Jenks, Albers, Aceves, Hill, Atchison, Doubront, Andrew Miller, Bowden, and Morales under club control for next year. Wouldn’t be surprised if they bring back Wheeler on a one-year arb deal (or pick up the draft pick). Most teams have one dominant reliever (like Bard) and a bunch of young guys, prospects, and reclamation projects for the rest of their ‘pen. They’re in no worse shape than most teams in this regard. Most teams go into the offseason with a few holes in their ‘pen, Boston doesn’t need to spend big (or have a history of spending big) on their ‘pen.

        The same with their rotation. You could run down any non-Phillies rotations and say that they don’t have that many proven 200 IP aces. Boston doesn’t need to bid on the Wilson’s and Darvishes of the world (though, of course, they could). They just need to fill out the back of the rotation with the Erik Bedard and Freddy Garcia types. Maybe an Edwin Jackson.

        And for RF/3B, sure, they have holes there, but they’re not big holes. If Youkilis isn’t healthy, they have Jed Lowrie to fill in (and be a solid 5th IF around the diamond). And they have both Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish for RF.

        Point is, despite the hubbub over a terrible collapse, this is a team that won 90 games (same as the world champion Cardinals) and has very few holes. You could do the exact same exercise on any single team in order to “show” that they have “too much on their plate”. I’m not worried.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Seriously RAJ?? This is a tad excessive. Scratch that, overwhelmingly excessive. The only way such a salary makes sense to me is if the Phillies cease to give a shit what their payroll is.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:18 PM

      You thought I was kidding you. I kid you not. I knew this would happen. They overpaid.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        It will be interesting to see how the vesting option works. Or if it’s a relatively easy vesting option basically giving him a 5 year deal.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:25 PM

        Amaro is an idiot for this signing. I knew this was going to happen. 4th year vesting option? What a joke!

        This team needs other things.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        halladay…, the funny thing is even Mo Rivera never made more then $10.5M until 2008. That was the first year he made $15M per. And I might be wrong about this but I believe the longest contract he ever received was 3 years.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:52 PM

        5th year vesting option, biceps.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:58 PM

        Ari, I have a question for you. I am of 2 minds as to how this effects Papelbon.
        First, he can look at as Madson do X, I deserve more than X in dollars and at least the same number of years (4).
        Second, it might force the Sox to let Papelbon walk rather then offer him $13 to $15M per year for 4 years minimum.

        What do you think?

      • Ari Collins - Nov 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        I don’t think that Boston gives Papelbon more than a three-year offer. And I don’t think that gets it done. He’s going elsewhere.

        And I’m not sure who will pay Papelbon more than Madson got. I think Madson’s deal is way out of line with other deals, and doesn’t really set the market.

        And then I just found this in the MLBTR chat:

        Comment From Lee
        Is Pap worth 15 mill a year for 5 years?
        Tim Dierkes: That’d be disastrous. I can see that if Madson gets 4/44 Papelbon will want more, but I can’t think of one team that’d give it to him.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:06 PM

      Dudes, do you all forget how much Lidge made?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:27 PM

        No, nor have I forgotten his performance for the length of said contract.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:44 PM

        Honestly though, I’m less concerned with this one though than I was when the Lidge contract was signed. You?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

        Yes, I am less concerned about Madson’s ability to sustain if not improve upon his performance than Lidge. As I said elsewhere, every since he added the cutter Madson has been incredible.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        Well since this isn’t my money, i’m just glad he’s still a Phillie. Had he signed with another team for this I wouldn’t be too happy. I am content with this I guess even though it’s steep.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM

        Read this post. It made me feel better about things.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:25 PM

        That certainly sums up the situation pretty well, and I have to agree with it.

      • phillyphreak - Nov 8, 2011 at 10:21 PM

        I guess the premise of his article is that because the options are few after Madson, it is necessary to pay a lot to keep him (or pay a lot for a good “closer”).

        But just because the options are limited, it doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend so much.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Every time he makes a deal I get more and more shocked that he didn’t try to one up the Nats last year when they signed Werth.

    • paulsdamnblog - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:27 PM

      Everytime I think about Werth leaving Philadelphia and going to the Nats, it makes me wonder about the validity of the rumor about Werth and Utley’s wife, and how welcome he would’ve been in that clubhouse. I know its probably a reach and there was a lot of sensationalism that went into that rumor but still…

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:30 PM

        Dipshit, there was never a rumor of Werth and Utley’s wife.

      • paulsdamnblog - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        Actually Biceps there was a rumor that was paraded around by a few dirt sheets and Crossing Broad. Crossing Broad, however, retracted their story with this:

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        They retracted their story, you admit it and then post it regardless…

        And people around here call me a moron.

      • paulsdamnblog - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:48 PM

        The fact that it was posted anywhere makes it a rumor, regardless of whether or not it was removed. And I wouldn’t call you a moron, your comments are generally entertaining. The guy that rips off your handle on the other hand is a moron.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:53 PM

        Sorry, paulsdamnblog, had a bad day here commenting. crossingbroad site is nothing more than a TMZ site to me. I wouldn’t take anything they post there as gospel.

      • paulsdamnblog - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM

        Sometimes Crossing Broad has it in for some of the people they report on, just ask Jeff Carter.

      • phillyphreak - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:48 PM

        Crossing Broad = worst site ever.

    • natstowngreg - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:39 PM

      Still isn’t that shocking, because Rizzo overpaid so much to make a statement. I’m sure Amaro didn’t feel the need to use Werth to make a statement. Instead, he used Cliff Lee.

      HB, this is why I said the Nats probably weren’t going after Madson. Storen and Clippard together are cheaper, and they’re not shabby.

      And BTW, the Phillies probably don’t care that much about payroll. They have a limited window for winning a championship — narrower than last season.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

        My point was somewhat tongue and cheek…being that Amaro tends to overpay.

  5. Kyle - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Too much money for too long. Other than that, awesome signing.

  6. eaglebobby - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Can I remind you guys that they had paid Lidge 37.5M over three years? And that Papelbon, Bell, and K-Rod all got similar contracts? Remember, Milwaukee had to re-do K-Rod’s deal when they traded for him. This is what effective closers go for these days, and if the Phils hadn’t paid him, someone else would have. The other thing is that did any of you know that the luxury tax goes up on an average of 8M a year–that’s 8M more the Phisl have to play with.

    • paperlions - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:43 PM

      No, this is what bad GMs pay for closers these days. Effective closers can be found cheaply in just about any team’s farm system.

      • The Baseball Gods - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:53 PM

        Because the team that wins the World Series usually has a terrible closer:

        2011: Jason Motte
        2010: Brian Wilson
        2009: Mariano Rivera
        2008: Brad Lidge
        2007: Jonathan Paplebon
        2006: Jason Isringhausen

        So pretty much outside of this past winner the Cardinals, 5 of the last 6 World Series winners have had bona fide closers.

      • seattlej - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:25 PM

        Motte, Wilson and Papelbon were all under team control. And wasn’t Wainright the one that closed during the playoffs in ’06?

        It’s not about whether they’re good or bad, it’s about whether they’re cheap or expensive. Good closers can generally be found on the cheap, thus negating the necessity to spend $11M for one when there are more pressing needs. It’s probably not that big of a deal for the Phillies considering their payroll, but it still doesn’t mean it was a good signing or a good idea.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:36 PM

        PL, for some teams, they’re basically playing with monopoly money, they print it, so yeah, while you think it’s a “Bad GM” It’s really not, they’re “good GM’s” because they were able to blow THAT much money, still make a good profit, keep fans in the seats, and put a good product on the field. Bad GM’s have half empty stadiums and keep putting losing products on the field year after year. That used to be Philly for a long time.

      • paperlions - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

        2006 Wainwright (not Izzy), who made $327K, and was from the team’s farm system

        2007 Papelbon, who made $425K that year, and was from the team’s farm system

        2010 Wilson, who made $6.5M that year, his first year earning more than $480K, and was from the team’s farm system

        2011 Motte, who made $435K this year, and was from the team’s farm system

        Your point was….what?

      • phillyphreak - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        ..”while you think it’s a “Bad GM” It’s really not, they’re “good GM’s” because they were able to blow THAT much money, still make a good profit, keep fans in the seats, and put a good product on the field.”

        I don’t think a good GM should (and would?) be allowed to blow that much money. I think that’s a “lucky” GM.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        Call it what you will Phreak. The end result isn’t too bad.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Agreed with the, “Look where these guys come from,” angle. Good teams don’t spend much on their ‘pen, given that relievers generally only stay productive for three or four years. If they’ve made it to FA, they’re a ticking time-bomb.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      eaglebooby, just because under the “old” CBA the luxury tax went up about $8M per year. There are no guarantees that is going to be the case come the new agreement this winter. In fact I would guess if it does go up over the 2011 level of $178M when the new contract comes out it will be relatively small increase. Look at it this way if MLB and the Players Union agreed to let it go up in $8M increments starting with the 2012 payrolls in 3 years it would be over $202M basically meaning no team not even the Yankees would be paying a luxury tax. And even if the Yankees did exceed the $202M it would be so small as to be meaningless.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        sorry meant “eaglebobby” please excuse the typo.

  7. meyerwolf - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Does anyone else ever get the feeling that RAJ is running this team into the ground? I’m pretty sure I’ll catch a lot of flack for this… and, I admit, he has assembled an impressive win-now team…. but I can’t help but shake the feeling that in two or three years it’s going to come crashing down around him.

    • seattlej - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      Yep. They’re in win-now mode and keep using the young talent in their system to get guys who are leaving in the next couple of years. They’ll have a lot of money coming off the books to spend, but free agency isn’t the best way to acquire talent these days and they’re not mixing any young talent in. I don’t think you’ll see a complete Mets-style collapse, but I also don’t think you’ll see an Atlanta-style dynasty that will last for 16 years. Starting around 2013, I think it’s possible that things could start to get ugly… but that’s also two seasons away. A lot can change in two years.

  8. The Baseball Gods - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    This would be a very good signing by the Phillies. They needed to address the closer role and I don’t know where you guys come off thinking that you can land a good young closer for anything less than 10M per year. Like eaglebobby said they paid Lidge 37.5M over three years, so 44M over 4 years for Madson is a very good deal. I also like that he is getting this done early so that he can focus on ways to shake up the offense. Also, I love how everyone always assumes how much money the Phillies have to work with when they have consistently continue to make big signings while all the “Insiders” always are reporting that the Phillies probably don’t have enough money to do X, Y, and Z. Only Ruben really knows how much money he has to work with.

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

      And how did the Lidge signing work out? Listen, I like Madson. I think he is awesome. However, I was thinking like 3 year 27 million. This deal is crazy. Like I said above, it seems apparent that they don’t give a shit about payroll anymore and that is fine. However, as others have stated an effective closer can be found within the system dirt cheap with the additionally money spent elsewhere. If this hinders them from adding bench depth or resigning Rollins/obtaining a reasonable SS then this is a bad move. If I see Wilson Vadlez starting next season because of this, I will be royally pissed.

  9. thefalcon123 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Once again, a team pays far too much because of a stupid statistic: the save.

    Who would you pay more money to?
    A: 2.55 ERA, 10.9 K/9, 4.92 K/BB ratio, 5 saves
    B: 2.37 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.88 K/9 ratio, 32 saves

    At least 75% of people (a number pulled straight from my ass) would say player B because he’s a “closer” and his situations are tougher or some nonsense. The other 25% would recognize that A is Madson in 2010 and B is Madson in 2011 and that saves are pretty useless for judging a pitcher. Madson is awesome because he’s awesome, not because he didn’t give up a lead of three runs of less in the 9th inning 32 times.

    • The Baseball Gods - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      I would say player B because his ERA was better. Obviously it’s the same person so this was pretty much a lesson in futility.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

        ERA is a dumb metric to judge pitchers on to begin with, let alone a relief pitcher who can have one bad outing and have a bad era for the year.

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

      I would say B because I know that Madson gave up 37% of his earned runs in one outing and a staggering 50% of his walks were of the intentional variety.

  10. paul621 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Do the Phils even remember why Madson is in the pen in the first place? No need to spend this much when you can pull someone off the starter trash heap.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:25 PM

      Because he was terrible in his 17 starts? Well, he was only throwing 90 MPH back then and relied on his awful curveball as a third pitch. Now he throws 95 and has added a cutter to go along with the devastating change.

      • paul621 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        Fangraphs shows it closer to 92 back then and 94 now, but my point is that baseball is full of examples of failed or former starters succeeding as closers. Find the guy who struggles because his third pitch sucks, show him that you only need two out of the pen, and viola. Madson is great, I just don’t get the need to shower money on a guy like him.

  11. crankyfrankie - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    More than I wanted the ballclub to pay but now onto solving the other flaws with the ballclub that the playoffs exposed. Phillies fan are getting spoiled. Current Phillies fans have gotten to watch the best first baseman, second baseman, and shortstop in team history. You have also gotten to see two , arguably, of the best starters in team history. The other two being Carlton and Roberts. Before you complain about the Phils think would you rather be a fan of the 12 ballclubs that are out of contention in February?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      Agree with that. They apparently hosted Cuddyer today.

  12. thefalcon123 - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Consider this: If Madson is healthy, he’l pitch about 70 innings a year. Meaning the Phillies will be paying him $157,000 an inning.

    If Cliff Lee works 220 innings per year, he’ll be making $113,000 per inning.

    At 230 innings, Roy Halladay will be making $86,000 per inning.

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