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.
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.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.