Angels Open Dialoguing With Ryan Madson

By MJ Lloyd

The Phillies gave Ryan Madson a chance to be a starting pitcher in 2006. It wasn’t pretty. In the 90.1 innings over 17 starts, Madson had a 6.28 ERA and a 1.65 K/BB ratio. He was sent back to the bullpen and, like a 10-year-old in third grade, he’s been killing it ever since. After moving back to the bullpen in 2007, Madson has a 2.89 ERA, a 147 ERA+ and a 3.24 K/BB ratio in his 329.2 innings of relief. In 60.2 innings last season, Madson posted a career high 2.25 FIP (fielding independent pitching) and 1.7 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement). And 32 saves, if you consider that a real stat.

The Phils and Madson were close to a 4-year, $44 million deal before it fell apart and Philadelphia hired Jonathan Papelbon to close. Now, super-agent Scott Boras (I assume he wears a cape and has a lair) represents the best free agent closer/reliever on the market. Angels GM Jerry Dipoto still wants to upgrade the bullpen and has given closer Jordan Walden a version of the dreaded vote of confidence. Dipoto has already spent a lot of billboard money this offseason on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson but Arte Moreno clearly wants a championship. So, it seems, the Angels are keeping the dialogue open

"1. Ryan Madson, free agent – The top free agent closer, he was originally looking for a four-year, $44 million deal from the Phillies. The Red Sox and Angels are keeping the dialogue open."

See? I don’t just make this stuff up. Most of the time. Some of the time. Fine, this time.

If you know me at all, I’m against signing veteran relievers to multi-year deals. Especially when they’ll be as pricey as Madson’s. Madson sure would look great at the end of that bullpen with Scott Downs, LaTroy Hawkins and Walden though. I think that $3 billion TV deal might have me a little spending drunk right now. The rum certainly isn’t helping either.