It looks like the Philadelphia Phillies made the right choice by allowing Ryan Madson to leave in free agency: The reliever is set to undergo Tommy John surgery that will sideline him for the remainder of the 2012 season and likely the start of 2013.
Madson had spent his entire professional career with the Phillies, the last five years as an extremely dependable part of the bullpen. After excelling in his role as The Bridge to Lidge, Madson stepped into the closer role when Lidge missed extensive time to injury; Madson converted 32 of 34 saves in his first season as the team’s closer. He also posted a terrific 2.37 ERA and a 9.2 K/9 rate in 60.2 innings pitched.
Madson and his agent Scott Boras failed to come to terms on a new contract with Philadelphia in the offseason, even though it was reported that Madson had agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the team. That deal never happened, and the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon soon afterwards, all but signaling an end to the Madson Era in Philly.
Madson decided to sign a one-year, $8 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds, likely to try to test free agency again in the following offseason. While the deal does include a team option for ’13, it’s likely the Reds will decline that on Madson and allow him to walk, especially considering the option is for $11 million.
Madson could have difficulty signing a deal as a 32-year old coming off Tommy John surgery. While some team will assuredly give him at least a one-year deal given the recent success he has had at the closer position, Madson may have to prove himself in his contract again before testing free agency for a three to four year deal.
Madson – who reported elbow discomfort at the start of spring training – has not appeared in a game yet in March with his new club. It was revealed today that the ligament was torn right off the bone of his right elbow.
Sean Marshall will become the new closer for the Reds.