Last season, Madson totaled a 5.47 ERA for two National League teams in the Nationals and Dodgers. However, the three seasons prior, Madson was a dominant reliever, posting a combined 2.55 ERA and allowing only 14 home runs in 187 innings pitched. Whether Madson’s 2018 was a sign of regression or simply an off-year, only time will tell. However, the Angels would be wise to give him a low-guarantee deal, see what he has in Spring Training, and then make their final decision. There would be no need to guarantee someone nearing 40 and coming off their worst career season a roster spot.
Madson is a perfect player for the Angels’ situation. They have a lot of hard throwers in their bullpen, while Madson is nearing retirement, he fits in just fine as he hit upper-90’s throughout last season. With Allen operating as closer (until further notice) the Angels still need arms to get them to the ninth inning with the lead, and most pieces in their bullpen are unproven.
Madson’s experience as a reliever is a plus for a relatively young Angels’ bullpen. The fact that he could be signed for very little money is an even greater plus for the team. If they’re serious about contending for a playoff spot in 2019, a signing like Madson could be the type of low-risk high-reward signing that will help get them there.