Ryan Madson Rumors
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.
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that he’s "very, very unlikely" to sign Ryan Madson or another closer. Despite rumors and speculation linking Los Angeles to Madson, Dipoto says the club has already made its most significant offseason additions.
"We're trying to add depth, and in a perfect world, we’d like to find another guy to join Jordan Walden, Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins to help with those last nine outs,” he said. “But closer has never been the real priority."
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. Last week 32% of 13,000 MLBTR readers said they expect Madson to sign with the Angels. The Reds were the runner-up with 18% of the vote.
Here's a look at some Red Sox items courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford..
- Prior to him being traded to the Padres earlier today, the Red Sox weren't engaged in talks for Carlos Quentin, a major league source tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. One of the major concerns from Boston's perspective, according to the source, was the 29-year-old’s ability to play right field in Fenway Park.
- The Red Sox never got the sense that Ryan Madson's price would drop enough to make him a viable option. Multiple big league execs surmise that Madson’s agent, Scott Boras, is looking for a deal similar to the one he landed for Yankees set-up man Rafael Soriano. Boras managed to get Soriano a three-year, $35MM deal last offseason after the market for closers appeared to have dried up.
- Boston could stand pat and take care of their right field situation with in-house solutions. The newly-acquired Ryan Sweeney could split time Darnell McDonald and converted infielder Mike Aviles could also factor in. Ryan Kalish should be in the mix too upon recovering from shoulder surgery.
Going forward, Angels owner Arte Moreno has made it clear that he wants to leave baseball decisions up to the baseball department as opposed to manager Mike Scioscia. Here's a look at what the Halos might do next..
- The Angels are considering free agent closer Ryan Madson, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, in order to stay under the cap, the club would likely have to backload his contract. Madson's market has thinned out somewhat and nearly 32% of MLBTR readers polled believe that the right-hander will sign with the Angels.
- Speaking of backloaded deals, Heyman has more details on Albert Pujols' ten-year contract. Yesterday we learned that Pujols will earn $12MM in 2012 and $16MM in 2013. Heyman adds that the slugger will make $23MM, $24MM, $25MM, $26MM, $27MM, $28MM, $29MM and $30MM in the following years, according to sources.
- Every indication from the Halos suggests that they're willing to hold on to Mark Trumbo and Kendry Morales right now, but eventually they will have to move somebody, writes MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. If Trumbo can play third base, Alberto Callaspo or Maicer Izturis could be expendable.
The Reds acquired Sean Marshall from the Cubs one week ago, but it doesn't sound like there are any other moves coming in the immediate future. “I’ve spoken to some agents and some clubs,” said GM Walt Jocketty to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. “But everyone kind of shuts it down until after the first of the year.”
Here's the latest from Cincy, courtesy of Fay...
- “We’ve made an offer,” said Jocketty, referring to Francisco Cordero. “He’s deciding what to do. He’s got a couple of other offers.” Jocketty said it's a one-year offer, and Fay guesses it's for $7MM or less.
- The Reds have not talked to Ryan Madson's people, which would mean Scott Boras.
- “We decided to table it 'til January,” said Jocketty, referring to talks with Brandon Phillips about a contract extension. Earlier this month we heard the two sides had made some progress.
- The Reds have spoken to Ryan Theriot's representatives, but nothing is close. “We’re trying to get a hitter first,” Jocketty said, and that hitter would have to be an outfielder according to Fay.
It was on this day in 2009 that the Mets signed Jason Bay to a four-year, $66MM contract. The deal was almost immediately panned as one of the worst moves of the 2009-10 offseason and time has proven the critics right; Bay has hit just .251/.337/.386 in two injury-plagued years in New York.
Some news items as we head closer to 2012...
- Ryan Madson is "the loser of the offseason," writes Fangraphs' Eric Seidman. With no obvious teams still in need of a long-term closer, Seidman thinks Madson may have to settle for a one-year contract and try again for a multiyear deal next winter. 32.36% of MLBTR readers polled believe Madson will sign with the Angels, with just under 21% picking 'other' and 17.55% picking the Reds. Though LAA and Cincinnati have cheaper closing options in the fold already, they're also looking to win now. They'd both surely jump at Madson on a one-year deal and are probably Madson's only realistic suitors for a multiyear contract, though who knows what Scott Boras may yet pull out of his hat. (The 'other' voters clearly know all about Boras' relationship with the Mystery Team.)
- The Phillies aren't likely to bid on Yoenis Cespedes and Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that Jorge Soler (the other intriguing Cuban outfield prospect on the market the winter) is also too unproven and expensive for the potential $20MM+ contract he could receive from a team.
- Also from Brookover, he lists Jonny Gomes and Scott Hairston as potential targets for the Phillies as the team looks for a fifth outfielder. If the Phils want to spend more to fill the spot, Brookover suggests Cody Ross and Ryan Ludwick.
- The Rangers' January 18 deadline for signing Yu Darvish is also the day the "logjam will break" for Prince Fielder, opines Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. If the Rangers can't sign Darvish, they "will be all over Fielder" to counter the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols.
- There are "roughly six teams that have shown consistent interest" in Wei-Yin Chen, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are one, the Pirates presumably still another, and the other four are yet unknown.
- Also from Connolly's piece, he predicts Edwin Jackson will find at least a four-year contract on the free agent market and notes that while "Jackson's upside intrigues the Orioles," team management has shied away from that long a commitment to free agent pitchers in the past.
- Pirates closer (and MLBTR fan) Joel Hanrahan tells Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn't expect to receive a long-term contract offer from the Bucs this winter. Hanrahan is projected to earn around $4MM this winter in his second trip through the arbitration process. He said the team hasn't made contact with him or his representatives yet about his 2012 contract, but this was also the case during his first taste of arbitration last year.
Ryan Madson probably lost another potential suitor when the Red Sox traded for Andrew Bailey. The Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins, Mets and Padres are among the other possible Madson suitors that have acquired other closers this offseason. However, the Angels, Reds, Rays, White Sox, Astros and Dodgers could be in the market for closers, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) and I’ll add the Orioles to the list of potentially interested clubs.
Madson won't come cheap, of course. He appeared to be close to signing a $44MM contract with the Phillies early in the offseason, and the non-deal gives us a sense of agent Scott Boras’ asking price. Though the market for closers doesn’t currently seem strong, we shouldn't forget that Boras found a three-year deal for Rafael Soriano last offseason, after demand for closers appeared to have diminished.
Madson’s the best free agent reliever remaining; where will he sign?
The Red Sox obtained Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney from the Athletics yesterday, sending Josh Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara to Oakland. Here's the latest on the Red Sox as reaction to and analysis of the trade continues...
- Ryan Kalish says he had left shoulder surgery in November in addition to his September neck operation, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Kalish may be ready for game action by May or June, but he doesn’t have a clear timetable. The Red Sox have Sweeney and Darnell McDonald in right, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them pursue other options.
- The Red Sox never got the sense that Ryan Madson’s price was going to drop enough to make him a viable option, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- Bailey would have been traded to Texas if the Red Sox hadn't included Reddick in the deal, Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets.
- The Red Sox are now shooting for a starter, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman lists Hiroki Kuroda, Matt Garza, Roy Oswalt, Joe Saunders and Edwin Jackson as possibilities.
- Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett told FanGraphs' David Laurila that Head can hit despite the fact that "he's not going to win any beauty contests." Jim Callis of Baseball America told Laurila that Head's stocky frame makes him difficult to project. "I do think he can hit, but he’s limited to playing first base and you just don’t see that many 5'10", 5'11" first basemen in the big leagues," he said.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says Oakland got fair value for Bailey, whose health is an unknown, and Sweeney, whose raw power hasn't translated during games. Reddick provides the Athletics with additional years of control and Head and Alcantara could also prove useful. However, the Red Sox aren't likely to miss the trio of players they gave up and they obtained a proven closer.
Even on Christmas, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe delivers his usual Sunday Baseball Notes column. This week, he runs down the best available players remaining on the free agent and trade markets at each position. Here are a few highlights from those lists and the rest of Cafardo's piece:
- The Red Sox and Angels are "keeping the dialogue open" with Ryan Madson.
- While many reports have indicated Hiroki Kuroda's willingness to play on the East Coast, the right-hander still has some desire to stay out west.
- The Marlins are being aggressive on Yoenis Cespedes, with the Nationals right behind them. Earlier this weekend, we heard there's some divide within the Marlins' front office on Cespedes.
- An AL GM on Joel Zumaya: "Our doctors don't think he would pass the physical based on what they see."
- The Rays are among the clubs that have talked to Francisco Cordero.
- Cafardo gets the feeling Matt Garza will be dealt, and warns not to rule out the Tigers.