Last night the Phillies were said to be “making a strong push” to re-sign Ryan Madson and now Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the two sides are closing in on a new contract.
According to Heyman they’re “in serious discussions” and it’s “hard to imagine it not getting done soon.”
One benefit to re-signing Madson rather than replacing him with another free agent closer is that the Phillies wouldn’t have to surrender a first-round pick. The other benefit, of course, is that Madson is really, really good even if took the Phillies five years to realize he could handle ninth-inning duties.
Philadelphia has also been linked to Jonathan Papelbon, but it seems clear that he’s merely the fallback option to retaining Madson, who saved 32 games with a 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio in 61 innings this season at age 30.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.