Ryan Madson was hoping to finally join the Angels’ bullpen this weekend. But that will not be happening.
According to beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the right-hander is going to spend “several weeks” on a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake before being cleared to pitch in the major leagues. Madson thinks he’s ready right now, but he has experienced multiple setbacks in his nearly 14-month recovery from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and the Angels want to play this cautiously.
“I can pitch here today and get people out,” Madson told reporters Wednesday evening. “That’s just how I feel.”
The 32-year-old inked a one-year, $3.5 million free agent contract with the Halos this past winter. He was expected to open the season as their closer, but Ernesto Frieri is currently running away with that job.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.