Report: Phillies appear close to re-signing Ryan Madson

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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.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.