Ryan Madson: “I can’t prove it, but I do believe” Phillies made $44 million offer

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General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and agent Scott Boras have much different stories about how Ryan Madson went from reportedly being on the verge of a four-year, $44 million deal to remain with the Phillies to settling for a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds.

Boras insists the Phillies made a verbal offer to Madson, but backed out of the deal and instead signed Jonathan Papelbon for $50 million. Amaro insists no official offer was made and the Phillies simply decided to move in a different direction at closer.

As for what Madson thinks, here’s what he said to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:

I can’t prove it, but I do believe it. There’s a handful of theories. I never figured it out. But it became pretty obvious they wanted to go in a different direction. So I just moved on to see who else was interested. Thankfully, the Reds came into the picture. I’m actually glad I’m here. It’s been a nice change so far. I’m really not looking back. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. It is what it is. Everything happens for a reason. You can’t make plans. Only one person can make plans.

Madson cited the fact that Boras “has been in the business for 20 years and it’s never happened before” as reason to think the Phillies caused the agreement to unravel. Of course, Heyman then writes that “Madson also pointed out that Boras would have nothing to gain by concocting an offer that never happened.” Which, really, is one of the funniest sentences in the history of the English language.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.