Cincinnati Reds Photo Day

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.

Edwin Encarnacion: “I think [the Blue Jays] got too hasty in making their decision.”

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
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1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.

Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:

“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’

Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ

Sammy Sosa
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I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.

The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.

Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.

Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:

It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”

At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.

I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .