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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.