Ryan Madson, who has spent the last 8 years of his baseball life with the Philadelphia Phillies, was signed by the Cincinnati Reds late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. He signs a one-year deal reportedly worth $8.5 million. He will replace their departed closer, Francisco Cordero, who is also still out on the free agent market.
Madson is 31 years old and had perhaps the best season of his career with the Phillies in 2011. He took more of a stronghold of the closer role and performed well in some key situations down the stretch for the Phils. During that “career year”, he went 4-2 with an 2.37 ERA and 32 saves. Overall, he tallied a 47-30 record with an ERA just over 3.50 as a Phillies pitcher.
This move was more or less expected after the Phils and Madson were unable to reach a deal last fall. The postseason acquisition of Jonathan Papelbon pretty much put the writing on the wall for Madson. This only affects the Phillies in the case that Madson would step back into the setup role. It doesn’t really make much sense to carry two “big money” closers on the staff, so I can’t argue with the decision to sign Papelbon long-term and let Madson walk. Madson had a great year last year, but his career numbers pale in comparison to Papelbon’s 2.33 ERA and 219 saves. The Phillies should move on confidently with Papelbon holding up the end of the bullpen in 2012.