Boras: Ryan Madson already receiving “a lot of interest”

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Free agent right-hander Ryan Madson registered an impressive 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio across 60 2/3 innings this season for the NL East champion Phillies, collecting 32 saves in 34 opportunities.

He’ll be looking to cash in this winter as the most dominant reliever on the market. And it sure sounds like his suitors have already begun lining up.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, agent Scott Boras said Saturday that Madson is “receiving a lot of interest, including from a couple of teams we didn’t know we’re looking for a closer.”

Ignoring the fact that Boras sounds like a broken record with his whole “a lot of interest” shtick, it’s safe to wonder whether the 31-year-old Madson might be able to fetch a three-year deal this offseason worth close to $10 million annually.

Most teams would consider that too pretty of a penny for any relief pitcher, no matter how reliable. But keep in mind that the Yankees gave Rafael Soriano a three-year, $35 million contract just 10 months ago.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.