Madson Hopes To Remain With Phillies

Scott Boras clients don't always chase the last dollar on the open market, as evidenced by reliever Ryan Madson's three-year, $12MM extension signed in January of 2009.  Madson was entering his walk year after turning in 82 2/3 innings of 3.05 ball for the Phillies in 2008, and Boras was reportedly in favor of Madson taking the deal to provide security for his family.

Madson remains one of the best set-up men in the game, posting perhaps the best numbers of his career in 2010 despite missing time for a broken toe suffered after kicking a chair.  He'll earn $4.5MM plus incentives in the final year of his contract.  At 31 years old in August, you'd expect a Scott Downs-type offer being required just to start the conversation with Boras about Madson.

Madson has a couple of goals, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: he wants to finish his career with the Phillies, and he'd like an opportunity to close.  Gelb believes there is probably room in the Phillies' payroll for Madson and Brad Lidge, but not both, after this season.  Regarding Madson's career success rate of 45% in converting save opportunities, GM Ruben Amaro said, "He hasn't proven it yet.  We think he has the stuff to do it."

The Phillies have not been shy about taking care of business ahead of time, so perhaps Madson is a candidate for a $6MM a year extension along the lines of Matt Thornton.  Thornton, however, is four years older than Madson, so there's a case for the latter to get at least three guaranteed years.

14 Responses to Madson Hopes To Remain With Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. I would love to see a Madson extension during the season if possible. His save rate is the result of a small sample size. His K/BB ratio, which is much more important, is phenomenal, and the Phillies would be wise to give him the money and let Lidge walk after this year.

  2. czontixhldr 4 years ago

    Tim, you need to make a distinction between Madson’s blown saves in the 8th and 9th innings.

    By my count he’s 20/27 in 9th inning save opportunities, if his BS numbers from innings 7 and 8 are subtracted.

    Isn’t THAT a better measure of his ability as a “closer”?

    • 20/27 is still pretty terrible. He is good as a setup man, but he doesn’t have the mind set of a closer (as demonstrated by his self control issues off the field last year)

      • czontixhldr 4 years ago

        20/27 is 74% – for a guy who everyone says is a 9th inning headcase.

        What’s the MLB average for converted saves?

        • jb226 4 years ago

          Last year in the NL, among closers, the average save percentage was 85.5%, ranging from 94% from Bell to 75.9% from Broxton who I think we would all agree had a terrible year, and including some guys who frankly probably shouldn’t really be closers (Dotel, Lindstrom). That jives with what I had in my head, that closers convert about 85%, though I have no idea where that statistic came from.

          Put in perspective, depending on his number of opportunities you could expect Madson to blow between 3 and 5 more saves per year than the average closer.

  3. myname_989 4 years ago

    I think Ruben Amaro put it best with Madson. “He hasn’t proven it yet. We think he has the stuff to do it.” He definitely has the “stuff.” A fastball that sits in the mid-90’s with one of the most underrated change-ups in baseball. The only thing you wonder about is whether or not he’ll actually get the chance to prove himself.

    If Brad Lidge is healthy throughout the season, he’ll have to remain as the set-up man. If the Phillies cut Lidge loose after the season, they’ll have to give Madson a birth by fire as the full-time closer, should they re-sign him. Kind of risky for a team that saw what having a disaster at the back end of the bullpen can do in 2009.

    Ultimately, I think Madson could be a good closer… He’s just not right now. Definitely worth a “Thornton-like” extension though.

  4. Madson will get 3/$21M just like I called it months ago.

  5. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    Phillies need to resign this guy, this guy is a very important part of the Phils

  6. nm344 4 years ago

    He’s the best Phils BP arm by far. They could do something like 3/18 with incentives for games finished (I dont think saves would pass by the player union).

  7. The idea that there is somehow a difference between pitching a scoreless 8th and pitching a scoreless 9th is absurd. It’s right up there alongside the Curse of the Bambino with baseball’s superstitious nonsense that is based purely on fantasy and regarded as fact.

    • bjsguess 4 years ago

      This has to be put in context.

      A set-up guy in the 8th inning that is brought in with a runner on 3rd and no outs in a tie game is certainly being leveraged to the max. That situation will be tougher than 90% of the situations that closers are brought in.

      However, all situations being equal, a pitcher in the 9th inning has a higher leverage factor than a pitcher in the 8th inning. The probability of pinch hitters/runners goes up. Finding someone with the proper mindset of the buck stops here requires a different mentality than a guy who knows someone is warming up and can come in you don’t have your “A” game.

      There are plenty of guys who came from the set-up role and moved into the closer role and failed miserably. That’s not to say that someone like Madson would do the same. Fact is we have no idea how well Madson would do in that closer role. The numbers indicate that he would be successful but the numbers don’t tell us much of his mental make-up.

  8. Diehard Philsphan 4 years ago

    I want them to resign madson. I also want to c young guys like defratues schwimmer and stutes in the pen.they can close madson is a set up man but they need him back. Those four guys with a decent lefty is a hell of a pen

    • Diehard Philsphan 4 years ago

      I forgot about mathieson he might be the closer of the futture

  9. Just to be clear, when Madson brought on Boras to be his agent the fear was that he was seeking the big dollars and would leave Philadelphia. But it was Madson’s insistence, not Boras’ recommendation, that provided to the necessary will to take the 3yr $12M deal

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