Boras, Amaro Discuss Madson Deal

Ryan Madson has agreed to sign with the Reds, but it wasn’t so long ago that he and the Phillies seemed close to a four-year, $44MM deal. It’s not clear what happened between Madson, agent Scott Boras, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and Phillies president David Montgomery, but Boras and Amaro have different accounts of the process. Boras says the sides agreed to a four-year, $44MM deal at which point the Phillies moved on.

"It's very simple," Boras told’s Jerry Crasnick. "We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal. And Philadelphia decided upon hearing that to go in a different direction." 

Amaro has a different account of what happened leading up to the Phillies’ deal with Jonathan Papelbon. He told Crasnick that Madson and the Phillies never agreed to a deal.

"There's no question we had discussions with Ryan about bringing him back,” Amaro said. “We had several discussions about it. But no agreement was made. If we had come to an agreement, we would have signed him.''

Amaro has said Montgomery knew where discussions between Madson and the Phillies stood all along. However, Jon Heyman of has heard that the sides were discussing details such as incentives when Amaro explained that he’d need to run the deal past Montgomery. Boras told Crasnick Madson had "numerous offers" on the table before agreeing to terms with Cincinnati.

65 Responses to Boras, Amaro Discuss Madson Deal Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    I’m a little unclear. Is Boras actually claiming there was some kind of agreement in principle? Or is he saying he gave the Phillies a number and they walked away?

    • Guest 4 years ago

      I read it like this: 

      “”There’s no question we had discussions with Ryan about bringing him back,” Amaro said.“We had several discussions about it. But no agreement was made. If we had come to an agreement, we would have signed him.””

      Amaro is shying away from acknowledging that he presented a deal. “no agreement was made” is not the same as “yes, we presented that offer” which is the truth of the situation. So in theory, Amaro is confirming that he did indeed make an offer to Madson. I don’t know why Amaro just doesn’t come out and say, “yeah we offered that, but we decided to go another direction” 

      I don’t see what the big deal is. Who cares. Phillies are going to lose again anyway. 

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        nah. you don’t advise a team that you will agree to their offer; you just tell them you agree

        the simpler interpretation is that they had hypothetical discussions, as is customary. at some point, 4/44 comes up as a possibility. boras checks with madson and then comes back to philly and says they would accept such a proposal (if it were made as an offer)

        then phillies decide not to make such an offer

        • Guest 4 years ago

          It’s a fair point. 

          I believe Amaro presented actual terms for a deal. I also believe as Purple stated, that an offer to Papelbon was quickly presented as the same time. Essentially that received greater attention at the moment, resulting in a formal agreement. I see it all the time doing what I do. There was definitely an offer on the table. They reneged. It happens all the time and there are no rules with the MLB that can really protect against it. I think Amaro is just trying to save a little face here. 

          These are the key words from Amaro:

          “But no agreement was made” That in itself, is enough validation that an offer was made in my opinion, but they could not come to an agreement.

        • MikhelB 4 years ago

          If you’ve ever done any type of MAJOR business then you should know that it doesn’t work that way, most of the times its simpler than we would expect it:

          Boras: We want 5 for 50.
          Amaro: We can do 4 for 40.
          Boras: If you were to offer 4 for 44 we could sign.

          There is no such thing as “let me check with him”, that stuff only happens in books and movies where this type of situations are ‘romantiziced’. Plus a good representative ALWAYS knows how high and how low he can go.

          And judging on how it went for Madson, Amaro succesfully called Boras’ bluff and the guy with lots of offers ended up signing a one year contract that smells more of “i want to at least pitch one year with the reds and next year look for a long term contract when there are not various closers as good or better than me available as free agents”.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago


            hears 4/44 -> checks with madson -> advises they would accept


            checks with madson -> hears 4/44 -> advises they would accept

            your nuanced understanding of “MAJOR business” has changed everything

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        For a rare moment we agree.

        My guess there were negotiations that lead to a number that was more or less agreed upon without any real official acknowledgement. Something happened, probably they were having simultaneous negotiations with Paps an in then end they felt Paps was a better deal for them. Plain and simple.

        • Guest 4 years ago

          ..and Boras needs to tread carefully over this. Essentially he just needs to bite the bullet and concede that he was unable to get a deal done. Any comments more than that and he runs the risk of aggravating other GM’s. It isn’t good business to say “well he said, with precise term’s that this deal was on the table.” No GM will want to engage with an agent that would have the potential to damage their reputation or embarrass them with specific details of their conversations. That would be the biggest blow to his business. Yeah Boras may lack some credibility, but I don’t think anyone can argue, he’s very good at what he does.   

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      if the proposal was already made, you wouldn’t advise the team making it that you would agree, but that you do agree

      sounds to me like that number was discussed, but not offered. i don’t hate scott boras, but he’s not exactly a straight shooter when it comes to explaining something he screwed up

    • John Stefan 4 years ago

      I believe Amaro over Borat! I think Borat gave his usual over-inflated number to Amaro, and Madson got caught standing in a game of “musical closers” lol

  2. John McFadin 4 years ago

    I read that as neither one saying a deal was agreed to by anybody.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Yeah, same here. It looks like a case of the media trying to find a story.

      • FillyPhan 4 years ago

        Or Boras trying to get more money for Madson.

        • Guest 4 years ago

          I actually believe Boras this time. In fact the comments above from Amaro make me believe all the more, that he did make an offer. It’s weird, but you have to look deeply into his use of wording.

          • FillyPhan 4 years ago

            Haha and that is why Boras is so good at his job. You read a dozen words and eat it up. He is notorious for using words to gain leverage and pit one team against another and you swallow it hook, line and sinker.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Yep, you got me. Boras completely fooled me. Forget the fact that I have 15 years experience with situations such as this. 

          • FillyPhan 4 years ago

            15 years experience of what?  conversations?

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I believe he’s in law.

          • moondog45 4 years ago

            You are trying too hard. He waited for Rollins to come down and would have done the same with Madson

  3. Phillies lost is the REDS gain.. THANK YOU..

    • FillyPhan 4 years ago

      Phillies didnt lose anything they upgraded by getting Papelbon. If the Phillies wanted Madson they woulda got him

      • briantalletsmoustache 4 years ago

        Maybe you haven’t lost anything yet. But by the end of the season, you’ll have lost unnecessary hours watching Papelbon on the mound.

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          Fine by me, helps me procrastinate with my studies.

        • FillyPhan 4 years ago

          That makes no sense. I’m watching the 9th Inning regardless of who it is.

          • I think (and I could be wrong) that he’s suggesting that Papelbon is not very good at having quick outings.  Pap’s time on the mound > Madson’s time on the mound.

            Nah, that’s too logical for a mlbtr comment.

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            You’re missing his point. In the past, Papelbon has been cited by MLB many times (along with other Boston/Yankee pitchers) for taking over 30 seconds to deliver a pitch. (is that the rule?)

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            Is it Boston and Yankees? I thought it was just Pap and Beckett

          • FillyPhan 4 years ago

            Clearly I did miss his point as it was vague and unclear.

      • Well objectively they did lose a first round pick, since the picks received for Madson will come in the supplementary and second rounds.

        And you’d be hard pressed to argue that the Phillies couldn’t have gotten a better deal than 4/$50M if they had been more patient.

        • FillyPhan 4 years ago

          Right and what if the market turned and waiting allowed Madson to gain leverage. Its a gamble and not one I want management to take. They found someone with historic numbers and signed him to a good deal considering Madson was only going for 1.5mil less per season and doesnt come with nearly the same resume.

          • How would the market turn?  Who else is looking for closers?

            I’m not saying the Phillies should have gone for the 4/$44M deal on Madson.  I’m saying they should have waited it out knowing what a glut of closers were on the market.

            I don’t think Papelbon’s contract is going to make or break the Phillies, but the fact is they could have been more patient and gotten a much better deal.  Even if they had been just a little bit more patient, they wouldn’t have lost their first round draft pick.

          • FillyPhan 4 years ago

            You gotta think about the timeframe the contract was made. Madson and Papelbon and Bell were the top closers on the market and almost no one had been signed, with many teams needing closers. Most of those teams just went in another direction. The Angels could have signed one of those 3. The Marlins were in need at that time. Its a mystery at the time and only seems so certain now that most teams have spent there money.

          • John Stefan 4 years ago

            I agree, the Phillies probably should have been more patient.   It was the perfect storm… First, Papelbon was signed so early in the offseason, secondly, the Phillies had no idea how many cost-controlled younger closers would be made available and subsequently traded.  (Ironically enough, Papelbon was also represented by Boras, so Scott shouldn’t be complaining one bit.) 

          • Dylan 4 years ago

            I thought Papelbon was represented by ACES. Did he switch, seems doubtful Boras would do that.

    • moondog45 4 years ago

      Reds got a great deal.

  4. yabud 4 years ago

    Don’t respond to Ruben’s BBMs so quickly Mr. Boras. He knew you were excited and figured he must be getting taken to the bank.

  5. bbq1959 4 years ago

    Borass said several offers. I do not think so, Borass just saying that. He has to cover his ass some how for screwing up a Madson deal.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      i’m sure he had several offers. none of them were better than the one they had to settle for, though

      • I offered Madson $250 to pitch for my wiffleball team.

        He balked at the clause requiring him to bring gatorade to every game  though.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      I’m with notsureifsrs. There were probably offers on the table with at least Texas and Philadelphia to be a set up man for their established closer, given recent reports.

  6. pmc765 4 years ago

    Regardless of what happened, the loser isn’t the Phillies, it’s Ryan Madson. He was a free agent. He turned down a nice extension and risked injury or a decline in performance to get there. He had a career year. And on the cusp of big guaranteed money…..

    Well, you decide what you think happened. But he’s definitely a big loser here. He has to have a terrific year and hope the market is better next year. If he doesn’t, or it isn’t….

    Madson isn’t a business tycoon who will inevitably become rich. He needs lifetime financial security. He was on the verge of getting it. But as of now he doesn’t have it.

    • stl_cards16 4 years ago

      I had a post here, where did it go? Ok, I’ll try again.

      The real winner here is the Reds.  They get one of the better relievers in baseball on a one year deal.

      If Madson is not secured financially for life, then his biggest mistake isn’t messing up this offseason.  After next season he will have made nearly $25MM, I would hope he can figure out a way to live off that.

      • pmc765 4 years ago

        I’m more sympathetic to Ryan Madson than you are, but I absolutely agree with you: the Reds get a marquee closer for chump change. It’s the proverbial deal they cannot refuse. If he pitches poorly in Cincinnati, which I do not expect, that’s bad luck for the Reds but their exposure is limited. Far more likely they’ll get what they paid for and be back in a well-stocked marketplace looking for a fresh closer for 2013.

        Jocketty was a good GM in St. Louis and no doubt still is, but he got real lucky here. Madson just literally fell into his lap.

  7. Adam Johnson 4 years ago

    A Philadelphia beat writer tried to piece this whole thing together two months ago. I forget who he was, but his best guess was that it sounded like they agreed to 4/44 very quickly, then Boras began pushing for a 5th year option to milk the situation, & then that’s where it fell apart.

    By the time Boras said “forget the option”, they agreed with Papelbon.

  8. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Regardless of what happened, jumping on the closer market early turned out to be a huge mistake by the Phillys, not only did they grossly overpay but they also gave up a 1st round draft pick.

    • This too.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago


        • Coollet 4 years ago

          Phillies screwed up, so? (Teams screw up all, which is good as long as its not the Blue Jays) Whats more important, GMs aren’t falling for Boras’ slick used car salesmen tatics anymore. The world greatest agent is spinning his wheels and isn’t getting anywhere. Well, at least for the moment.

        • Coollet 4 years ago


  9. Damon Bowman 4 years ago

    One other thing not being acknowledged here is that Scott Boras dramatically misread the market for closers.  I can understand not liking that Ruben Amaro reneged on an offer– I get that.  But if Madson was such a valuable commodity to a multitude of other teams outside of Philly, he would have gotten a deal done before the calendar turned to 2012.

    The fact is the market for deals longer than two years for free agent closers changing teams may be coming to an end for a long time to come.  For 2012 only four or five teams could have been considered in the market for a closer — Phillies, Red Sox, Rockies, and maybe the Angels.  With Papelbon hitting the market at the same time and so few landing spots for Madson, he should have advised Madson to take arbitration for 2012 and come back in 2013 when nobody is scheduled to hit the market.  This was a major miscalculation on Boras’ part and now his client is paying for it.

    • MikhelB 4 years ago

      You forget one important bit: basically nobody thought that Papelbon would be gone from Boston, even if there were slight hints that it would happen. Boras thought that Papelbon would resign with Boston and the market boiled down to two premiere closers and various teams interested. So, he took the risk of asking for more than he could chew, Amaro saw through his bluff and signed a disgruntled Papelbon who was reluctant to go back to beantown.

      Now Boras was left out with a Madson who interested nobody long term except for the Phillies, and decided to sign for one year.

      The easiest way out of it was to ask for more than the phillies were disposed to pay, and if Amaro balked at the proposition then Boras would advise Madson to take a pay cut going to arbitration and wait for 2013 when the market thins out.

      And even if Texas offered more money this offseason, the best bet was to sign with a National League team, because it is a weaker league AND Madson already knows the hitters, so it is easier to asume he will repeat his 2011 season and could ask for a big pay day after the 2012 season, whereas signing for Texas would also bring up the risk of failing due to not knowing the teams/players.

  10. I know it’s all in hindsight, but if you were the Phillies and could trade Papelbon for Madson straight up right now wouldn’t you do it?  Papelbon’s great (I’m a Sox fan and everything) but I think I’d rather have Madson for 1 year at $8.5 mil than committing 4 years and $50 mil to Papelbon. 

    I know he’s been pretty consistent, but that’s still a lot of years and money for a reliever (especially one with a shoulder that has had issues and been babied.  Now that he’s not year to year, like he was in Boston, who knows if he’s going to baby it as much.

    Feel free to trash me but I’m curious as to who you would take given the contracts.

    • moondog45 4 years ago

      Absolutely would do it but Philly was never going to get that opportunity.

  11. Mike1L 4 years ago

    Maybe the real story is that Philly was negotiating with Madson and Papelbon at the same time.  Amaro and Boras agreed on the outlines of a base 44/4, but Boras wanted incentives (what can you buy for $44 Million?) and that provided the delay for Papelbon’s agents to agree to $50/4.  Boras needs to save face at this point-either he thought he had a deal and Amaro did to him what he likes to do to teams, or he had already mentally pocketed the $44/4 and was just trying to squeeze more.  In either even, his client lost big. 

  12. Is it me, or is Boras losing a bit of his edge?

    • MikhelB 4 years ago

      I hope GMs finally figured out how to deal with a lowballer like Boras, and it seems that Amaro did what Boras usually does: present an offer, ask for a counteroffer, then go with another team and present them with the counteroffer to let them knnow that if they offer something better his player will sign.

  13. Madman2TX 4 years ago

    Sounds like Boras screwed the pooch on this one, plain and simple. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Madson fire Boras.

  14. KB 4 years ago

    boras sure screw up on this one, he didn’t realize the market for a closer was so small.

    even for prince i think he maybe relegated to take  5-6 year deal as those yield more on avg than the 7-10yr deals he has on the table.

    boras needs to adjust and realize the market is a lot smarter than a decade ago, with so many small market teams getting smart on spending and spending more money in the drafts/amature signings

  15. Still wondering how Paps or Mads is THAT much better than Huston Street who went for scraps.

  16. FillyPhan 4 years ago

    I don’t need to read it three times to understand.

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