There had been indications of late that veteran reliever Ryan Madson could be closing in on a deal. Now, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (in a notes post; subscription link), there’s reason to wonder whether he’ll sign at all.
Madson, 38, is said to be “thinking about not playing” in the 2019 campaign. Whether that is due to personal considerations or displeasure with the offers he has received is not clear, but it seems it’s not entirely certain that he’ll be back for a 14th MLB campaign.
If Madson does decide to throw, moreover, it’ll only be in the right circumstances. Rosenthal’s source says that Madson is expected to be “extremely picky” about where he signs. Again, it’s hard to know just what to make of that, since we don’t know what precise factors are driving the decisionmaking.
From the outside, it would be a surprise if multiple teams weren’t interested in giving the Southern California native a MLB roster spot and at least some guaranteed money. He still has a big fastball and compelling peripherals, even if he never was able to get the results to line up in 2018. And Madson put it all together in a compelling 2017 campaign in which he worked to a 1.83 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 59 innings.
No matter where things go from here, it has been quite a momentous late-career push for Madson, who made himself into a star closer in his age-30 season before injuries intervened. He ultimately missed three full MLB campaigns (2012-14), but has been even better since returning. In 239 2/3 innings since his 2015 return, Madson owns a 3.19 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.