Phillies interested in reunion with Ryan Madson

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Ryan Madson has signed two sizable contracts with two different teams since leaving Philadelphia as a free agent after the 2011 season, but he’s yet to throw a pitch in a big-league game because of elbow problems. And now he might be returning to the Phillies.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies are interested in a reunion with Madson and the right-hander “has some interest in rejoining the Phillies.” Salisbury suggests that it would have to be a minor-league deal with a chance to win a bullpen job during spring training, but the odds of Madson securing a guaranteed contract anywhere else at this point seem pretty slim.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.