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.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.