Ryan Madson Signs with Cincinnati

Per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Cincinnati Reds have signed former Phillie Ryan Madson to a one-year, $8.5 million deal. I’ve written a lot about this subject recently, so I won’t beat a dead horse, but suffice it to say that the Reds made out like bandits with this deal. The Phillies have massive amounts of egg on their face for signing Jonathan Papelbon so quickly, and Madson’s agent Scott Boras looks even worse. The good news is that the Phillies will get two draft picks as a result of offering Madson arbitration. Jim Callis with the specifics:

#Phillies get sandwich & 2nd-rder for Madson going to #Reds. As of now, those would be picks 38 & 72. #mlbdraft

Madson will spend one year in Cincinnati before jumping back into the free agent pool. He may have better luck when fewer relief options are on the market. For now, he’ll take $8.5 million, which is likely less than he would have been awarded in arbitration. The acquisitions of Madson and lefty Sean Marshall give the Reds a fearsome bullpen as they make a serious push to win the NL Central in 2012.

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18 comments

  1. Stephen App

    January 11, 2012 08:13 AM

    Makes you wonder if Madson is wishing he had accepted arbitration. Although in that situation, he wouldn’t have closed, which would have slightly hurt his free agency next offseason. So I guess I answered my own question.

  2. Paco

    January 11, 2012 08:24 AM

    While I think that signing Papelbon (or any reliever) for $50 million is absurd, I’m still not fully convinced that they SHOULDN’T have done it. The market WITH the Phillies and Papolbon (the wealthiest suitor and the most attractive lady) is VERY different than the market without them. Do you think it’s really safe to say that the Phillies could have gotten Madson for just 1 or 2 years, under $10 million per year, if only they had waited? Especially with relievers (whose value is nebulous at best), I don’ think you can look at each contract in a free agent offseason within its own vacuum.

  3. Pete

    January 11, 2012 09:02 AM

    So this doesn’t mean the Phillies could have gotten him for 1 yr, $8.5 million, since Boras would have never let that happen if we were still sans closer.

    But it does mean that Ruben made a big mistake not waiting this one out as he did with Jimmy. Probably could have had him for 3/30.

    Though who knows, if we didn’t sign Paps, he might still be out there too.

    Reds looking formidable.

  4. dp

    January 11, 2012 09:20 AM

    “…The Phillies have massive amounts of egg on their face for signing Jonathan Papelbon so quickly, and Madson’s agent Scott Boras looks even worse…”

    Why would the Phils have egg on their faces? First, overpaying for Papelbon and not signing Madson are not related – they are two separate events to be viewed in their own respective contexts. Don’t forget, no one else offered Madson a multi-year contract that we’re aware of. Everyone else (e.g. Boston, Toronto etc.) went elsewhere for their closer needs. True the Phils over payed for Papelbon but the overpayment is offset somewhat by the compensatory picks received. Finally, don’t discount the fact that the entire league’s assessment that Papelbon is the better talent/bet than Madson. Personally, I would have preferred to keep Madson for the alleged deal that was in place but who knows what happened behind the scenes. In the end, I just don’t see this as a monumental fail as others make it out to be.

  5. Nik

    January 11, 2012 09:51 AM

    Agree completely wiht dp. Everyone needs to stop crying about it.

  6. The howling fantods

    January 11, 2012 10:00 AM

    I’ve heard that due to the new cba, the phillies will get the reds’ first roung pick at 14 plus a supplemental, while the reds get an additional pick added to the first round at 15. So, there is a new first round pick added because of this signing and the reds aren’t hurt too badly in terms of draft picks.

    Only the first ten picks are protected now, not the first fifteen.

  7. Phillie697

    January 11, 2012 10:24 AM

    @dp/Nik,

    That kind of analysis presumes that Papelbon is the ONLY one we could/wanted to sign. We could have just brought back Madson. Pete is correct. We could have saved $20M, and if he signed a 1 yr/$8.5M, I am quite sure it wouldn’t take $10M AVV to sign him. He would probably jump at 3/$27M. Also, like Pete said, Papelbon might still be out there as well, except after all this waiting, he would also have accepted a lesser deal.

  8. hk

    January 11, 2012 11:15 AM

    dp,

    The Phils will have egg on their faces for two reasons. One, as Phillie697 points out, they overpaid Papelbon relative to what Madson received and probably relative to what they could have paid Papelbon had they used their leverage better. The second reason is that they squandered a first round draft choice by signing Papelbon before the new CBA was announced.

  9. Dan K.

    January 11, 2012 11:38 AM

    To be fair, the Phillies are getting absolutely shafted by the CBA this year.

    We lose our first rounder because we signed Papelbon before the new CBA was finalized… fine, that’s fair. But now we’re getting absolutely cheated by it in regards to Madson. We offered Madson arbitration and he declined under the new CBA. He signed elsewhere. The new CBA stipulates that only the top 10 picks are protected, so we should pick #14 with everyone after that dropping down a spot… nope. For some reason, we’re going off of the old CBA and the top 15 picks are protected so we get a 2nd rounder and a sandwich instead of a first round and sandwich.

    HOWEVER, the Mets have already benefited from the new CBA by getting a higher pick for losing Reyes than they would have previously (they would have gotten a third round pick under the old CBA). So basically, baseball is picking and choosing who benefits from the CBA this year. Confused? So am I. And a little pissed, to be honest.

  10. dp

    January 11, 2012 12:06 PM

    @ Phillie697

    “…We could have just brought back Madson…I am quite sure it wouldn’t take $10M AVV to sign him…He would probably jump at 3/$27M…Also, like Pete said, Papelbon might still be out there as well, except after all this waiting, he would also have accepted a lesser deal…”

    Based on what evidence “could we have just brought him back”? I am not aware of any confirmation (e.g. team or media) that the Phils actually offered Madson the purported deal – that was a Boras leak. Same with the 3/$27M statement. Where are you getting that from? Based on the way things played out, if we would have signed Madson, Papelbon had a good chance to stay in Boston (granted, at a lesser deal than we gave him but a significant multi-year deal nevertheless). Once we signed Papelbon, Boston by all accounts was in on Madson but quickly moved on, same with Toronto. Why? It’s not hard to imagine something was going on in the Madson camp. My question back to you, who wouldn’t jump at the imaginary 3/$27M? The complete lack of interest around the league and the fact Madson ended up in CIN for a pittance of a 1 year deal peanuts is extremely telling. Finally, while Papelbon may not have gotten the same money elsewhere (Boston or other), I don’t think anyone can make the argument he would have ended up with a 1 year deal for $8.5M. The fact of the matter is Papelbon was getting a significant multi-year deal from Philly, Boston or someone else. Madson? The result proves he wasn’t even offered anything better, not even 3/$27M.

  11. Bill Baer

    January 11, 2012 12:17 PM

    I don’t think the Madson 4/$44M deal was a Boras leak. IIRC, every reliable journalist was in on that one, not just Boras-puppet Jon Heyman.

    Madson had plenty of interest, but teams balked at his asking price, which initially was at the 4/$44M level. If Madson was willing to take less money and/or guaranteed years, he easily could have settled for Rafael Soriano-type money (3/$35M) or slightly less. Presumably, Boras instructed him to wait it out to maximize his earnings, but he mis-read the market.

  12. Ken

    January 11, 2012 01:26 PM

    Price = First cost mentality.

    Situation big picture is Madson gets to close, gets away from the hesitatnt to praise Amaro and Dubee evaluations.

    Not my life, but he did the right thing blowing off setting up, and although it hasn’t equated as convincingly with a 1 year deal, I hope he kicks some butt. He was a lot of fun to cheer for, and will remian so to a degree.

  13. Phillie697

    January 11, 2012 02:45 PM

    “The result proves he wasn’t even offered anything better, not even 3/$27M.” Didn’t you just not prove what I said? If we waited until now, Papelbon would have been signed by somebody by now, and Madson would have realized no one is going to pay him the kind of money he wanted, and would have come back to Phillies to accept a lesser deal, i.e. the 3/$27M that you just admitted no one else apparently is offering him. I don’t understand your argument at all. Madson at 3/$27M > Papelbon at 4/$50M. Like I said, I do NOT make the presumption that we NEED Papelbon, because quite frankly, nobody NEEDS an expensive closer; I don’t care even if it’s Mariano Rivera.

  14. LTG

    January 11, 2012 03:41 PM

    To add on to Phillie et al,

    So far these arguments assume the Phillies had to address their bullpen a) at all, b) via the free agent market. Neither is obviously true, as has been pointed out on this site before. If the Phillies had been willing to work with a younger bullpen or make a trade for a young, cost controlled closer (see BoSox), they would be in a better position now than they are.

  15. Joey

    January 13, 2012 12:06 AM

    Do you think that, perhaps, information similar to what is spelled out at * espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/19877/madsons-changeup-a-deadly-weapon * could have lead to RAJ and the Phillies brass to pass on Madson? Although the numbers look impressive, they’re fairly predictable. And, with a little research and patience, could we see hitters start to sit back on his change-up?

  16. Phillie697

    January 13, 2012 10:13 AM

    BB took the words right out of my mouth. Madson isn’t exactly a rookie.

  17. Jeff

    January 13, 2012 11:53 AM

    dp on Jan 11, 2012: “… the Phils over payed for Papelbon but the overpayment is offset somewhat by the compensatory picks received. Finally, don’t discount the fact that the entire league’s assessment that Papelbon is the better talent/bet than Madson.”

    1. Phillies did not need to upgrade closer. They had much bigger needs, like bats.

    2. Those draft picks may soften the blow of losing Madson, but will do zero to help re-sign Hamels and Victorino. The savings from signing Madson instead of Papelbon would have helped.

    Best wishes to Ryan Madson. Short of beating the Phillies, hope it works out for him.

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