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Rays, Red Sox, Cardinals may be fallbacks for Ryan Madson

Jan 8, 2012, 9:46 AM EDT

madson getty Getty Images

Ryan Madson likely had a smile on his face back in early November when Jonathan Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies.

That deal set the bar high for free agent closers, and Madson — with stats similar to Papelbon’s in recent years — probably figured he would also cash in.

But the market for relievers has since crashed, and there is no longer a line of teams looking to spend big on bullpen help. So where does Madson turn?

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Rays, Red Sox and Cardinals “will be interested” in Madson “when and if” his current price drops. They won’t be offering four-year deals, and Boston and St. Louis can’t guarantee him a ninth-inning job out of the gate, but they’re all three projected to contend in 2012. And that might be worth something to Madson if, as expected, he’s unable to find the kind of massive contract he was looking for when this offseason began.

  1. paperlions - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    I don’t think there was ever a “line of teams looking to spend big on bullpen help”. Many teams have realized that reliever performance is variable, and that spending big money on it is inefficient and no guarantee of addressing the need. A lot of teams can fashion a solid bullpen spending less money than Papelbon will make next year just by converting their minor league starters to relievers.

    • dan1111 - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      I agree with your bullpen philosophy, but not every team does. Some still spend big money on established closers and even setup men. I think it is Madson’s bad luck that competition for him hasn’t materialized.

    • smokehouse56 - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      Paperlion, I must respectfully disagree. A top of the line closer is desired by every team without one. You just can’t pick one up in your AA or AAA team and have your long term closer. They are developed. Madison labored for several years as a setup pitcher for the Phillies and Brad Lidge. When Lidge went south to the disabled list several times he became less and less effective. Madison answered the call. Some team have 9th inning closers laboring as set up pitchers. They just have to be found and given the chance. The Phillies did that with Madison. That said, I think if you can get a free agent closer, go for it.

  2. themanchine - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Who would thumb-down that comment? Amaro & Steinbrenner?

    • dan1111 - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      I think it was Papelbon and Madson.

      • dexterismyhero - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        they did it again!


  3. mojosmagic - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    The problem is Scott Boras selling Madsen to high. Last year was his first as a closer and he does have minor injury issues every. Madsen also is a bit of a head case.

  4. thefalcon123 - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    The 2012 Cardinals have the following already set for the right side of the bullpen:

    Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Fernando Salas, Kyle McClellan, Lance Lynn, Eduardo Sanchez. The worst of the bunch are probably Boggs or McClellan, who are pretty good for long relievers (well, McClellan was until last year). Why spend $10 on another right handed pitcher?

    • Drew Silva - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      McClellan would make a decent trade chip. Some team might view him as a rotation option.

      • 78mu - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        A year ago I would have agreed with you but he didn’t fare well as a starter last season. Even when he was winning games early he was getting A++ run support and should be a case study for people that claim wins are an important stat for starters.

        McClellan was very good at the start of his career getting outs in tough 7th and 8th inning situations. I hope Matheny gives him that opportunity again. If the Cardinals trade him to a team looking for a back of the rotation spot I doubt they could get anyone that would be as valuable as McClellan can be out of the bullpen.

      • crisisjunky - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Right down I-70. Royals let Albert slip through their fingers when he was playing JuCo
        ball there.. I’m sure they would love to hand the Redbirds Clint Robinson as well.
        Heck, if only Herk were still around, he’d have already annointed McLellan his Ace.

  5. brockohol - Jan 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    cards still have a little $ to spend and motte’s sample size was small as a closer. he may very well be a great closer but madsen would be a nice asset to any bullpen

    • paperlions - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Yes, he would….the problem is that the salary he is looking for isn’t commensurate with the upgrade he represents to many/most bullpens.

  6. suckitny - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Come back to Philly!!!

    • emoser - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Would love to see him come back at the right price, even if only for a year. The eighth can be just as important as the ninth and he would be great insurance if Papelbon goes down.

  7. firemarshal1 - Jan 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Madson, sign with the Reds, 3 years 28 million. You’ll be closer on a contending team.

    • crisisjunky - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Not Walt. Made his stance well known with Coco.

      • cintiphil - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        Not to mention, that his price is a little too high now, as they need money to pay up for Brandon next year.

  8. muckthefets23 - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I really don’t see where he fits in Boston after the Bailey trade and the Melancon signing. The others make more sense with STL he can setup or take over if Motte goes down and he could easily close in Tampa. Of course if he’s willing to be a setup man I’m sure every Phils fan would welcome him back to our bullpen.

  9. bozosforall - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    If he wants to play for a winner he should go with the Cards or Rays…unless he wants to be on a team that is slowly but surely sinking fast, then he should demand big money from the Red Sox.

    • homelanddefense - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Bozo is the perfect name for you, because you are a clown. If you are over 12 years old its just plain sad.

  10. cintiphil - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I think he is going to stay in Philly. No one would want to pay what he wants, but at the end of all of the back and forth with the various teams, he will sign at the last minute with his team, for less than 44 Mil and 4 years. Who know what the final amount will be.

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