It’s been a long road back to the major leagues for reliever Ryan Madson. But he’s officially made it back, joining the Royals’ bullpen as part of the 25-man roster, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports. Madson signed with the Royals on a minor league deal in January and performed reasonably well in spring training, giving up five runs (three earned) on 11 hits with a 6/0 K/BB ratio in nine innings. He’ll earn a $850,000 salary this season for making the major league roster.
Madson, 34, last pitched in the majors in 2011 when the Phillies were knocked out of the NLDS in five games by the Cardinals. The right-hander had risen to prominence as one of baseball’s best set-up men, then took over in the closer’s role for Brad Lidge in 2011. From 2007-11, as a full-time reliever for the Phillies, Madson posted a 2.89 ERA with a 314/97 K/BB ratio in 329 2/3 innings.
The Phillies let him go into free agency after the 2011 season. He signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds for the 2012 season but he never threw a pitch for them as a result of a sprained UCL suffered early in spring training. He underwent surgery in April. The next off-season, he signed with the Angels on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, but again did not pitch due to continued discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow. Madson had surgery to remove scar tissue from his elbow in May that year. He did not sign with anyone in 2014.