Ryan Madson Rumors
Joey Votto’s under contract for two more seasons, but recent deals for Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols show it won’t be easy to keep the first baseman in Cincinnati beyond 2013. Earlier today I suggested it could cost upwards of $160MM in additional commitments to keep Votto in a Reds uniform through 2020. Here’s the latest on the Reds, starting with Votto...
- Reds CEO Bob Castellini believes the team could initiate extension talks with Votto this year, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. "I think Walt has been in pursuit of that for a while," Castellini said. "It's something we know is a big challenge for us. It's certainly is desirable."
- Brandon Phillips says he’s going to leave discussions about an extension up to his agent, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I'm not tripping about it,” the second baseman said.
- The MLB Players’ Association values Ryan Madson’s contract with the Reds at $8.25MM, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. One third of Madson’s $6MM salary is deferred without interest in 2012, Rosenthal writes. The deal includes an $11MM mutual option for 2013 with a $2.5MM buyout.
If any doubt remained about the Reds' intentions for the 2012 season, it has now disappeared -- they're going for it. GM Walt Jocketty continued adding to his new-look pitching staff by officially agreeing to terms with Ryan Madson on a one-year, $8.5MM deal. Scott Boras represents the right-hander, who will become the closer in Cincinnati's bullpen.
The contract includes incentives and a 2013 mutual option. Madson will earn $6MM in 2012 and the deal includes an $11MM option with a $2.5MM buyout for 2013.
Madson posted a 2.37 ERA with 9.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 48.8% ground ball rate in 60 2/3 innings for the Phillies in 2011. The 31-year-old saved 32 games in his first full season as a closer.
The Reds don't have to surrender a draft pick to sign Madson, but the Phillies will obtain two picks this June because they offered arbitration after the season. One selection will come before the Reds' second round pick and the other will come in the supplementary first round.
Madson could cash in next offseason if he repeats his 2011 performance in Cincinnati. He appeared to be close to signing a $44MM contract with the Phillies early in the offseason, but talks fell through and Jonathan Papelbon signed in Philadelphia, leaving Madson in a market that has slowed down for relievers.
Francisco Cordero had been talking with the Reds throughout the offseason, but it seems unlikely that he'll return to Cincinnati at this point.
Right-handers Nick Masset, Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arredondo, Sam LeCure and Andrew Brackman figure to join Madson in the Reds' bullpen mix in 2012. The Reds also have an impressive trio of left-handers: Sean Marshall, Bill Bray and Aroldis Chapman.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported the move. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick added the financial terms and John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon and ESPN's Jayson Stark added detail. Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
The new collective bargaining agreement has created millions of dollars in incentives for teams to be below the luxury tax when it reaches $189MM in 2014, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. The upcoming changes have contributed to the relatively restrained spending on the part of the Yankees and Red Sox this offseason, Stark writes. Here are the rest of his rumors...
- The Yankees won’t be under the luxury tax threshold in 2012 or 2013, but they hope to spend less than $189MM in 2014, Stark writes. However, the CBA isn’t the only reason the Yankees are spending more cautiously. "I think this is what the Yankees were going to do, regardless," one of Stark’s sources said.
- Hiroki Kuroda is sending signals to the Yankees and Red Sox that he’d like to sign with one of those teams, Stark reports. The Red Sox are “nowhere near close” on Kuroda while the Yankees are mostly “kicking tires,” Stark hears. Stark's colleague Buster Olney reported today that Kuroda's asking price has dropped to the $10-11MM range.
- Though rival teams were surprised to see the Reds agree to terms with Ryan Madson, the move will help the team stockpile draft picks. They’ll obtain a compensatory pick when Francisco Cordero signs elsewhere and could obtain two more picks if they tender Madson a contract next offseason and he leaves as a free agent.
- The Reds are going to attempt to turn Aroldis Chapman into a starter this Spring Training, though there’s some skepticism he’ll thrive in the rotation.
- Chad Qualls’ name is on the Phillies’ shopping list, Stark reports.
- Rival teams predict the Cubs won’t trade Matt Garza until July, when there are fewer alternatives available in free agency.
- Stark hears that the Astros would pay half of the $18.5MM remaining on Carlos Lee’s contract and at least $7MM of the $11MM that Brett Myers will earn in 2012. Wandy Rodriguez is also available, though the Astros don’t appear to be nearing a deal involving the left-hander.
The Reds signed Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman for $30.25MM on this date in 2010. The 23-year-old has a 3.27 ERA with 12.8 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9 through 63 1/3 innings in parts of two seasons with Cincinnati. He figures to join lefties Bill Bray and Sean Marshall in the Reds' revamped bullpen this year...
- The Reds’ one-year, $8.5MM contract with Ryan Madson is “perhaps the deal of the offseason so far,” ESPN.com’s Keith Law writes. Law says the Phillies seem like losers and that their four-year, $50MM deal with Jonathan Papelbon “looks absolutely comical.”
- The Cubs, who appear to be nearing a deal with Kerry Wood, reached out to the right-hander last night and stepped up their offer, David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com tweets. The Tigers and Phillies are fallback options for Wood, Kaplan notes.
- Cardinals pitching prospect Shelby Miller told Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that he's looking to pitch well in Spring Training and make it difficult for the team to keep him off of the MLB roster.
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 ESPN.com’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 CBSSports.com 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.
6:42pm: A source with the Reds downplayed the team's interest in Madson, according to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). MLB.com's Mark Sheldon hears that Cincinnati is unlikely to get serious about the righty unless he drops his asking price.
5:16pm: Ryan Madson and the Reds are in serious talks about a new contract, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty maintains interest in Francisco Cordero and is eyeing Kerry Wood as a possible alternative.
The Marlins and Rangers have ‘thought’ about Madson and the Phillies recently checked back in on him, Heyman tweets. However, a deal with Philadelphia seems unlikely at this point, since the Phillies already signed closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Yankees aren’t interested, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said last week that the Angels are "very, very unlikely" to sign Madson or another free agent closer. Dipoto said today that the Angels are “looking to create depth” in the bullpen, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports.
The relative inactivity of the Yankees and Red Sox on the market for expensive free agents has rendered this offseason a strange one, writes Peter Gammons of MLB.com. Both clubs are concerned about the luxury tax in both the short and long terms, one GM tells Gammons. Here are some other tidbits of note ...
- Gammons wonders whether there’s a fit for free agent Prince Fielder other than the Nationals: “Where is there a team with local media rights that Fielder could impact? And local media rights is what's driving the cars these days, as Albert Pujols knows.”
- However, if the Rangers get a deal done with Yu Darvish, the "Fielder watch will come into focus," especially if the Nationals back off and Prince doesn’t want to play for the Mariners.
- As for Ryan Madson, the race between the Angels and Rangers for supremacy in the AL West could re-shape the market for the free agent closer. Halos GM Jerry Dipoto, in particular, is keeping an eye on the right-hander to see if his price comes down.
- The Red Sox are looking at lefty Paul Maholm, and they might be interested in Aaron Cook if the righty is amenable to signing a minor league deal with incentives. Cook has a history with new Boston pitching coach Bob McClure.
- The Red Sox inked right-hander Carlos Silva in hopes of making him 2012’s Freddy Garcia, who was a nice value signing for the Yankees on a one-year, $1.5MM deal last season.
Within this week's Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Kevin Cash has decided to end his playing career. Let's take a look at a few other notes Cafardo shared in his column....
- Addressing the starting rotation, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says the team may "buy low on some guys and create a competition in camp." One buy-low candidate the Sox are known to be eyeing is Paul Maholm. Cafardo expects the former Pirate to sign a one-year, incentive-laden deal somewhere.
- The Red Sox may also have Joe Saunders on their radar. One NL scout weighed in on the southpaw: "You'd be afraid that he'd give up some homers at Fenway. But on the other hand, when you've got a guy who can pitch 200 innings from the No. 4 spot in your rotation, I'm telling you, that is effective because that's one of the bullpen spots in the rotation. I mean, that's where you normally believe you have to use a lot of your pen, and if a guy like that saves you, that's important."
- The Cubs are willing to absorb most of the $54MM remaining on Alfonso Soriano's contract in order to facilitate a trade.
- According to Cafardo, many teams, including the Red Sox, Cardinals, and Rays, will become more interested in Ryan Madson if and when his asking price drops. I have my doubts that Madson will become inexpensive enough for the Rays to get too involved.
- 40-year-old lefty Ron Mahay says he feels great and intends to continue his pitching career. Mahay recorded a 3.44 ERA in 34 innings for the Twins in 2010, but couldn't crack the big league roster for the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, or Cardinals in 2011.
Just yesterday we heard that a contender could make a surprise play for Madson, and the Rangers would certainly qualify. In addition to Nathan, they also have Mike Adams and Koji Uehara at the back of their bullpen. That didn't stop them from looking into acquiring Andrew Bailey, however. If they were to get serious about Madson, it probably wouldn't happen until after the Yu Darvish situation is resolved.
Nearly 4,400 MLBTR readers believed the Angels would sign Madson when polled last month. The Rangers weren't an option in the poll, but more than 2,800 readers expected him to sign with a team that wasn't listed.
The Cubs have traded Sean Marshall, Carlos Zambrano and Andrew Cashner in recent weeks. Could Matt Garza be next? Ken Rosenthal of FOX breaks down the market for Garza and offers more rumors from around the league:
- Cubs execs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are alarmed by the lack of minor league talent in their own system, so trading Garza might appeal to them. The Yankees, one possible suitor for the right-hander, have had concerns about Garza’s ability to handle New York in the past, Rosenthal reports.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has said he’s not looking to trade Jacob Turner, but Rosenthal hears the young right-hander is available in the right deal.
- A contender like the Cardinals could make a surprise play for Ryan Madson, but the market for the free agent closer currently looks thin. Agent Scott Boras may wait until Spring Training to find a deal, as he has done in the past.
- Free agent first baseman Derrek Lee expects to land a full-time job, Rosenthal reports. I examined the first base market yesterday.
- The Mariners, who added Hisashi Iwakuma yesterday, are open to signing a veteran at the right price, Rosenthal tweets.