Done deal: Angels sign Ryan Madson to one-year contract

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UPDATE: Madson passed the physical exam, so it’s a done deal. He gets $3.5 million in upfront money, plus a $2.5 million “roster bonus” and up to $1 million in incentives based on games finished. So he’s guaranteed less than half of what he got from the Reds last offseason and can earn up to $7 million.

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This morning the Angels reportedly were close to signing Ryan Madson and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says it’s a done deal.

According to Crasnick the rehabbing right-hander will get a one-year contract, assuming of course that he passes the physical exam after missing the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery.

It’ll be interesting to see how much Madson gets, because when the Phillies turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead of re-signing him last offseason his market was limited enough that he settled for a one-year, $8.5 million deal from the Reds. Back then he was 30 years old and coming off a season in which he saved 32 games with a 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Now he’s 31 years old and coming off a season in which he didn’t throw a pitch because he needed his elbow reconstructed.

Madson is expected to become the Angels’ closer, which would allow manager Mike Scioscia to use Ernesto Frieri in a setup role.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.