No Madson Deal Yet; Phils May Pursue Papelbon

10:19pm: Officials around the league are suggesting the Phillies' pact with Madson may have fallen through because the first big deal of the offseason "may harm the ongoing CBA negotiations, suggesting the owners believe an agreement is a formality," according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports

Another possibility is that MLB didn't like the terms of the deal, one that would set a relatively high bar for a free-agent class flush with closers, reports Brown.

4:18pm: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the club never agreed to terms on a contract with closer Ryan Madson, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN. Amaro categorized the rumored four-year, $44MM contract as "unequivocally false," reports Stark (Twitter links).

The Phils are interested in Jonathan Papelbon, tweets Jon Heyman of, so if talks with Madson don't work out, Pap may be their new target.

The Phils' reported near-deal with Madson has unfolded curiously since the story broke on Tuesday afternoon. The holdup in it becoming official was apparently that Phillies president David Montgomery had not approved the terms. Heyman tweeted earlier this afternoon that there was little optimism that Montgomery would sign off on the pact, which had become a hot topic of discussion. There was a split among executives and agents regarding whether it would have been a good deal.

We've not yet heard rumors strongly tying Papelbon to any club, although we heard Tuesday that his name has come up during the Blue Jays' internal discussions. The right-hander, who has spent his entire career to date with the Red Sox, figures to command one of the two biggest free agent contracts for closers, along with Madson.

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