Tag: Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson to A’s: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Oakland Athletics continued their offseason retooling Sunday, agreeing to a three-year, $22 million contract with reliever Ryan Madson

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and Andy McCulloch of the Kansas City Star reported the deal. Madson, 35, spent the 2015 season with the Kansas City Royals. He went 1-2 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, combining with Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera to form the best setup trio in baseball.

The Royals went on to win their first World Series since 1985, thanks in large part to their shutdown bullpen, which posted five wins above replacement overall, per FanGraphs.

Madson’s 2015 season was particularly remarkable, given his tribulations over the previous three years. After spending his first eight seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Madson left the club after the 2011 season but never threw another pitch before arriving in Kansas City.

He suffered a torn elbow ligament in 2012 that cost him most of the next two seasons, and he sat out 2014 after failing to receive interest from teams in free agency.

 Madson discussed his comeback with the Associated Press in September (via the Spokesman-Review):

I thought I would bounce right back. I did everything everybody wanted me to do. I did everything under the sun trying to get back, and it took me getting released for the first time in my career, not being in the major leagues since being called up in 2003, to really feel that punch. And it knocked me down. It almost knocked me out.

The A’s will likely look for Madson to return to a setup role with Sean Doolittle getting the first crack at closing. Oakland had one of baseball’s worst bullpens in 2015, finishing 27th in wins above replacement. The team traded closer Tyler Clippard to the New York Mets at the deadline, leaving them with only one regular bullpen option (Fernando Rodriguez) with an ERA below four.

Adding Madson should provide the A’s with some stability as they rebound from a disappointing 68-94 record in 2015. The A’s have already reacquired Jed Lowrie and signed pitcher Rich Hill as they try to find low-cost options that fit within their payroll. Still, Gabe Lacques of USA Today made an interesting observation:

Madson, assuming he stays healthy, is obviously the biggest acquisition so far. Giving him three years is a bit of a risk, but if he performs at the same level he did in 2015, Oakland’s bullpen likely won’t be as much of a glaring weakness.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

All advanced stats via FanGraphs.

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Ryan Madson Reportedly Signs with Oakland A’s

Ryan Madson had a great bounce-back season as a member of the Kansas City Royals bullpen in 2015. Now, the 35-year-old has reportedly cashed in on that success this offseason.

Continue for updates. 

A’s Reportedly Secure Madson

Sunday, Dec. 6

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, citing a source, reported the Oakland Athletics have signed Madson to a three-year contract worth $22 million. 

Madson‘s resurgence in 2015 was stunning, especially considering he hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2011 due to various arm problems following Tommy John surgery. He appeared in 68 games, covering 63.1 innings and had a 2.13 ERA with a 0.963 WHIP.

The arm problems do make Madson a potentially high-risk investment for whichever team lands him, but there’s also the potential for an impact reliever in a market that always covets those kinds of players.

Dodgers Reportedly Considered Madson

Saturday, Dec. 5

Crasnick first reported the Los Angeles Dodgers had turned their attention to Madson as a way of boosting their depleted bullpen corps. 

The Dodgers are a team with many holes, despite their massive payroll, with the bullpen being a particular problem. Their relievers finished 19th in ERA and 20th in opponent batting average against in 2015, so finding a bridge from the starters to closer Kenley Jansen is a priority for Los Angeles’ front office. 

There are other problems the Dodgers will have to address in some way this offseason. Zack Greinke is reportedly leaving to sign with National League West rival Arizona, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, making starting pitching another area to address. 


Stats per ESPN.com.

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Veteran MLB Free Agents Who Still Have Plenty Left in the Tank

Sifting through the 2015-2016 MLB free-agent market, there’s just no one quite like Bartolo Colon.

Simply put, the right-hander is an ageless wonder.

Even with his 43rd birthday looming in May, Colon is still a viable free-agent option for a club that is aiming to round out its rotation. And, Colon isn’t the only big league vet who proved in 2015 that his tank isn’t empty just yet.

On the list that follows, there’s also room for a couple of position players who are primed for rebounds in 2016 and a couple of relievers who put together stunning comebacks during the season that was.

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Relief Options Still Exist for New York Yankees

With David Robertson heading to the disabled list and an already young and inexperienced bullpen, the New York Yankees must explore the several relief options that still remain on the free agent market in an attempt to upgrade their roster.

While the likes of David Phelps, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances and Vidal Nuno have held their own through the start of this young season, the Yankees lack relievers with both veteran leadership and closing experience. Even when Robertson returns, manager Joe Girardi may sleep easier with a more established setup man in his pen than Kelley. He could probably use an experienced arm in the middle innings of games. 

The players mentioned here are by no means All-Stars, at least not anymore, otherwise they would have found a team by now. Instead, they could provide veteran leadership and a safety net should Robertson and his fellow young relievers hit a skid along the way.


All stats were obtained via Baseball Reference. 

Question or comments? Feel free to follow me on Twitter @GPhillips2727 to talk New York Yankees and Major League Baseball. 


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Los Angeles Angels: How Risky Are Recent Pitching Moves?

The Los Angeles Angels are banking on a pair of risky recent pitching moves to improve their beleaguered pitching staff.

On Friday, the team traded reliever Jordan Walden for Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson; and acquired free agent Ryan Madson, signed this past Wednesday to a one-year, $3.5 million deal loaded with incentives (h/t AP writer Greg Beacham).

Hanson, 26, was once a top-tier prospect for the Braves, possessing a well above-average fastball and curveball with decent command. In four seasons with the club he totaled 592 strikeouts to only 219 walks while averaging an ERA of 3.61.

But his numbers dropped in 2012, along with his velocity, and possible injuries to his back and shoulder caused concern for his future, according to CBS Sports’ C. Trent Rosecrans.

In 2012, still with the benefit of the pitcher-friendly Turner Field, Hanson posted his worst ERA (4.48) and allowed 27 home runs in 174.2 innings. His control wasn’t the same. His breaking pitches didn’t have the sharp drop like seasons past—spinning like the pinwheel on a frozen MacBook instead.

Because of his reported issues, Hanson found himself placed in unfamiliar territory: trade bait. 

The Angels, possibly foreshadowing the non-signing of Zack Greinke, quickly pounced on the right-hander, certainly understanding that Hanson’s price tag won’t be overly expensive.  

If he does work out for the Angels, filling in as a solid No. 3 starter, then it can be the youthful answer for the rotation, replacing arms like Trevor Bell that didn’t work out in past years. But it’s still a risky gamble, regardless if losing Walden is not.


Then there is the case of Ryan Madson.  

Madson, who is coming off ligament-replacement surgery (Tommy John surgery) is also an unknown factor.

The doctor that did the procedure, Dr. Lewis Yocum, reigns as the Angels’ team physician so the organization has first-hand knowledge of Madson‘s recovery, according to Tim Heany of KFFL.com.

But remember this: Yocum is a doctor, not a fortuneteller.

Although Madson is well ahead of schedule in his recovery, according to Beacham’s article, a pitcher’s arm and the subsequent performance won’t be known until the bats start swinging in March—perhaps even into the summer months

Until then, while there is hope Madson will be in the closer role and complimenting Ernesto Frieri towards the end of games, all Angels’ fans have to go on is Madson‘s excitement to be in Southern California. GM Jerry Dipoto resonated that scenario saying this:

He’s very enthusiastic, and clearly loved the idea of playing for the Angels, which isn’t something you can take for granted. Somebody getting to do something they’ve wanted to do for their whole lives creates a very romantic edge to it.

Take that, Zack Greinke? Perhaps the Angels want you to want them…like the Cheap Trick song.  

Regardless, both moves can help the Angels’ pitching staff. However, players labeled with the injury bug and velocity/control problems, like Hanson and Madson, always make for a risky situation.

It can also leave the organization and GM Jerry Dipoto in trouble if it doesn’t work.  

After all, the Angels already passed on two of their past pitchers, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, because of control and injury issues. And the news of Zack Greinke‘s whereabouts may not be enough to hide that come opening day. 

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Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Realistic Offseason Moves

With the 2012 World Series coming to an end, the offseason is now upon us. Ruben Amaro Jr. and his staff will begin the daunting task of trying to rebuild the Phillies into a championship team.

The Phillies have already cut ties with Placido Polanco, Ty Wigginton and Jose Contreras while picking up Carlos Ruiz’s 2013 option.

In order to compete for a title in 2013, the Phillies will have to fill most, if not all of their holes, which includes at least two outfield spots, third base, the bullpen and maybe even a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Here are five realistic offseason moves the Phillies should seriously consider. 

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Chicago White Sox: Should Consider Ryan Madson for Closer Role

The White Sox need a closer after trading away Sergio Santos in the first of two offseason deals with the Toronto Blue Jays.  The potential names for a replacements have included Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and rookie Addison Reed.

As a Sox fan I’ve seen what Thornton can do and I’ll pass.  Thrust in the role of closer last season, Thornton struggled mightily with his control.  He had only been a starter and setup man prior to getting the nod to replace Bobby Jenks, and it proved to be a huge mistake.  The same thing happened with lefty Chris Sale and perhaps that explains why he hasn’t received much consideration this time around. 

We also have seen Crain in the closer’s role for a game or two here and there but never full-time.  Should that give us a sigh of relief? 

Not really.

The closer may just be the second most important piece to the White Sox puzzle only behind the starting rotation.  If the starters pitch the way they are capable of (that includes a return to form of Jake Peavy) and the defense improves, the Sox will need a lights-out closer to keep the wins coming. 

I’m not sure what to expect from Addison Reed but would you trust him to hold a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth with Howie Kendrick on first base and Albert Pujols at bat?

This is the reason why the Sox should look into bringing in former Phillies closer Ryan Madson

Before the Texas Rangers come up with a financial package, White Sox GM Kenny Williams should swoop in and offer a two-year deal in the $5-7 million range for Madson who had 37 saves last year.  In order to sweeten the deal, Williams can add a team option for a third year to the deal. 

Madson is a strike-out pitcher who has a ton of postseason experience.  He also can handle the rigors of pitching to American League lineups having pitched in the N.L. East, a division that features a few American League-type teams.  With only allowing 16 walks and two homers in 60.2 innings pitched, he has the necessary control to deal with the homer-friendly U.S. Cellular Field. 

This signing also allows Reed the opportunity to close on occasions.  The Sox can groom him for the role and have him ready for the future.  With Madson on board, there would be less pressure for Reed and eventually Madson can turn into a bona fide trading chip down the road.

If the Sox don’t go after Madson, I’d prefer they’d go with Reed over Thornton and Crain at this point.  No one has seen him pitch yet.  With Madson on board, the Sox rebuilding might turn into a mute point. 

The Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians will be improved, no question.  The thinking is this: all the Sox will need is some strong starting pitching, stellar defense and bounce back years from Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.  Add a good closer in Madson to that mix and the Sox are back in business, without the pressure.         

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Closer Update: Are the Blue Jays Waiting out Madson To Lower His Price Tag?

With Heath Bell signing for an impressively low 3-year, $27 million deal, it seems there aren’t many options left on the free-agent closer table.

Ryan Madson remains the front-runner among free-agent closers and many would think he would have been signed by now, with the Red Sox and Jays as the two main teams in search of a closer, perhaps the waiting game is going to wind down his price? 

Although the Red Sox lost Papelbon to the Phils this offseason, they do have a bona fide capable closer on their team in Josh Bard. He has been seen as the closer in waiting for the Sox for quite some time. Perhaps the Sox don’t need a closer after all

If that is the case, perhaps it is in A.A.’s best interest to wait out the market, especially for Madson, to make him and his agent sweat a bit to lower the terms of a possible contract. 

Especially with the Winter Meetings on the horizon it would make sense for A.A. to see if he can grab Street or Bailey (two of who he has shown interest in acquiring) rather than pay a hefty price in free agency for Madson.

Maybe A.A. is a little worried about making a big free-agency splash for a closer considering what fans remember with B.J Ryan.

Bell’s contract actually helps the Jays, believe it or not. With Bell signing a deal of $9 million per, it would be tough for Madson to try and ask for more than that considering he has only closed for one season in Philadelphia, whereas Bell is the only closer in the league to put up 40-plus saves in the past three seasons.This would lower Madson’s price and his ability to seek a double-digit yearly salary.

Bailey and Street remain solid trade rumours as many have already discussed these possibilities. Personally, I would love to grab Bailey, not so much Street.

The Winter Meetings could also land the Jays a 2B. With Johnson as good as gone with his Type A Free Agency, perhaps 2B could be a top priority during this time.

As stated in my previous piece, we will keep you updated on all Jays developments during the WM.

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MLB Free Agents 2012: Jonathan Papelbon and the Top Closers on the Market

Relief pitchers in general, and closers in particular, have repeatedly proven to be terrible investments in free agency. Nevertheless, every offseason sees millions upon millions of dollars thrown at closers, particularly when they’ve put up stats like the cream of this year’s crop:


Jonathan Papelbon

After saving 30-plus games for six-straight seasons in the pressure cooker that is Boston, Papelbon has certainly proven that he has the mental toughness to handle the closer’s job. He also recovered well from a down year in 2010 to post a dazzling 0.933 WHIP this season (along with cutting his blown saves from eight to three).

Papelbon is only 30, so he should have several good years ahead of him. Boston may opt to shell out for his services, but wherever he lands, he’s in for a big payday.


Heath Bell

Despite rampant speculation to the contrary, San Diego opted to hang on to Bell at the trade deadline. The Padres, one presumes, expect to be able to re-sign their lights-out closer, but they’ll have plenty of competition.


Bell has saved at least 42 games each of the last three seasons, with ERAs no higher than 2.71. The only potential red flag is that his strikeout rate plummeted this season from a career-high 11.1 K’s per nine innings in 2010 to a career-worst 7.3.


Francisco Rodriguez

Milwaukee isn’t likely to offer its current setup man as much money as he can get on the market as a potential closer. K-Rod is now three seasons removed from his dazzling 62-save season as an Angel, but he’s an established commodity out of the bullpen (not to mention a fairly big-name acquisition for some club in free agency).

On the other hand, Rodriguez’s ERA as a Met (where he spent the first half of the season) was a disappointing 3.16. It’s hard to judge whether any team signing him will get that version or the one who went 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA as a Brewer.


Ryan Madson

Perhaps the best bet to be seriously overpaid this offseason is newly-minted Phillies closer Madson. He saved 32 games with a solid 1.154 WHIP, but one season of production in the closer’s role doesn’t necessarily translate to long-term success.

The former starter may yet become a reliable stopper out of the bullpen, but he’s also got a substantial possibility of blowing up entirely after signing a big contract.

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Jays Talk: Are the Jays 3 Years or 3 Players Away from the Playoffs?

As we head into the dog days of August, Jays fans are just now starting to get excited over the prospects of this team.

Usually around this time of year, it’s the lull in the schedule where teams usually just try and play out the string until September, but for the Jays, things look completely different.

The Jays are fighting game in and game out, and are 57-55 in 102 games this season. The team was expected to maybe win at most 75 games this season, so they are definitely ahead of expectations.

If the Jays had the ability to close out games with more ease, they could likely have seven-10 more wins than they do this season.

But with that said, the Jays are expected to fall out of contention soon as they remain 11.5 back in the wild card and 12.5 back in the AL East. Their playoff hopes are fading fast, but the future is brighter than ever.

A main component of the future made his debut last night. Brett Lawrie, a native of Langley, British Columbia, made his highly anticipated Blue Jays debut in fine fashion coming up with an RBI single in his first ever at-bat.

After a bout of “erroritis,” Lawrie calmed down a little and finished out the game strong, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Lawrie’s debut last night set the country a blaze as it’s likely the most publicized minor league debut in Jays history. Lawrie, who has drawn comparisons to Ian Kinsler and David Wright, didn’t look out of place last night at the plate.

So that begs the question, since the Jays are ahead of expectations and .500 plus this year, would the Jays contend if they had three more players to add to the fold? Obviously these players would have to be good players.

But on the other hand, are the Jays just too young and inexperienced to contend right now even if they had those three extra players to add to the depth of the squad?

We’ll dissect the two scenarios right now.


Three Players

In my opinion the Jays would be in a better position if they have a closer, starting pitcher (a No. 2 or No. 3) and a second basemen.

The Jays this offseason should be looking at improving their bullpen. The relief department is filled with quality arms.

Closers available include Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Valverde, Ryan Madson and Jonathan Broxton, all of whom would be better options than Jon Rauch.

A few others have options attached to their deals and may opt out such as Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez who will likely want to leave Milwaukee due to being a set-up man behind John Axford.

So the free-agent cupboard is stocked heavily for Alex Anthopolous to really make an impact this offseason.

The Jays have been in talks with Houston over Wandy Rodriguez, and he would likely fit into the mold of that No. 2 or 3 starter this team needs; however, I just think he’ll get murdered by the AL East bats. Even Baltimore, the worst team in the AL, could destroy this guy.

The No. 2 or 3 pitcher in my opinion will come from within, as the free-agent class for pitchers is rather bare.

As for the second baseman, Aaron Hill is still find is a useful player; however, his swing needs serious work.

After a great silver slugger year where he hit 36 home runs 108 RBIs and averaged .286, Hill’s numbers have plummeted into the abyss as he’s only hit .215 in the two seasons since (August 6th) and hit 31 home runs in 882 at-bats.

 Hill has abandoned his quick, smooth stroke for a more loopy and long home run swing, thanks to the hitting coach Dwayne Murphy’s philosophy of sitting on your pitch and letting it rip. Hill’s best season came under Gene Tenace.

Adam Lind credited Tenace with his great offensive numbers in the month of July and August 2009, saying: “The thing is, a lot of people can teach you how to hit, but not a lot of people can teach you how to hit in the big leagues.”

Hill has been struggling, hitting only .232 this season, as is Travis Snider, who is now in AAA again. JP Arencibia will never be a high-average hitter, but he should still average around .245 to .260, but he’s at a .216 clip right now.

Rajai Davis hit .284 last season, this season he’s been relegated to fourth OF duties and is hitting .242.

The rant aside, only a scarce few have improved under Murphy (Bautista, Escobar, Molina) and the Jays might actually be better served finding a new hitting coach as opposed to adding another bat in the offseason. Build from within, I would like to say.

We’ve looked at the three players side and I decided that a closer is a must for this team, and a bonus would be a legit starting pitcher and second baseman. However, we could probably fill those two positions from within for a much cheaper price.


Three Years

The Jays are one of the youngest teams in the majors right now and some argue they are still two or three years away from contending because of their lack of experience, and the fact they have quality depth up and down the minor leagues.

The Jays are blessed with a great deal of starting pitching depth down in the minors with as many as possibly 10 or more major league caliber starters.

Deck McGuire looks to be a horse, Henderson Alvarez is looking dominant with his 95 mph-plus fastball and Nestor Molina is mowing down the competition.

Justin Nicolino is a man amongst boys in the Northwest League. Noah Syndergaard looks to be the real deal as well.

Asher Wojciechowski is struggling somewhat in Dunedin, but the organization still has high hopes for him, as well as Aaron Sanchez, another one of those projectable high school arms the Jays drafted last season.

Chad Jenkins, Drew Hutchinson, Adonys Cardona, PJ Walters, Mitchell Taylor and Joel Carreno are looking pretty great as well down in the minors.

The Jays have also only signed four of their top 25 drafted players from the 2011 draft. The Jays could add Tyler Beede, Daniel Norris, Kevin Comer, John Stilson and Tom Robson to the fold as well.

The highest rated Jays prospect whom I nearly forgot about, Kyle Drabek, has struggled with his control this year and was demoted to AAA earlier this season.

He hasn’t made it back and has continued to struggle down in Las Vegas. When he figures it all out again, he’s that quality arm the Jays are searching for.

Most of these guys I would say are two or three years away from a chance at making in to the show. McGuire, Drabek and Alvarez are likely the closest to making an impact right now.

The Jays infield isn’t littered with prospects, but there are some good ones that may be worth the wait.

SS Adeiny Hechavarria has huge amount of upside as he projects more like an Edgar Renteria or Alcides Escobar types of shortstops. He’ll likely not hit for average, but he does have a gold glove caliber glove and some speed.

Dickie Thon, Chris Hawkins, Mike McDade, David Cooper, Kellen Sweeney and Jorge Vega-Rosado look to be serviceable MLB players down the line.

To add to that, the Jays might have the best stocked catching prospects in the minors as Travis D’Arnaud is looking like a top-five prospect in AA. Carlos Perez is having a down year, but may have even more upside in some scouts opinions. AJ Jimenez and Santiago Nessy are looking good as well.

Lastly we look out to the outfield and that’s where the Jays will obviously need to make moves. Already having long-term options in center and right, the Jays really don’t have a lot of need for outfielders at the MLB level; however the team is stocked nicely in the outfield.

Jake Marisnick is having a sick year down in Lansing, as he’s projecting more and more like Hunter Pence by the day.

Anthony Gose is striking out a ton in AA; however he’s already at 50 steals this season and looks to finish with a .250 plus average. His arm out in center is very strong and looks to be a part of the future.

The other three heads of the monster in Lansing, Marcus Knecht, Mike Crouse and Markus Brisker, are all making good strides down in Michigan.

Eric Arce is displaying some power down the GCL and Moises Sierra is showing a good bat and a strong arm down in New Hampshire.

As you can tell, the Jays are well-stocked in the minor league system.

Should the Jays continue to rebuild and wait the three years, or should they look to add those necessary missing pieces and make a run next year when the playoff format should likely change?

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