Just a couple hours ago, I examined the fit between free agent reliever Ryan Madson and the Reds. Well, the Reds and Madson have agreed to a one year deal, according to CBS’s Jon Heyman. Terms weren’t immediately disclosed, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the money is “in excess of $10 million”.
This signing re-emphasizes the point that I made earlier tonight that the Reds are going for broke in an attempt to win a championship in either 2012 or 2013. After that, Joey Votto will hit free agency, and I’d be willing to bet that he’d command a nine figure deal somewhere. The Reds are a small market club and really can’t afford that. After the Ken Griffey Jr debacle a decade ago, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to commit that kind of money.
But anyway, back to Madson. He’ll replace Francisco Cordero as the Reds closer, despite just one season of full-time closing experience under his belt. In that one season, which was 2011, Madson saved 32 games for the Phillies, while striking out 62 and walking 16 with a 2.37 ERA. Charlie ranked him as the #2 closer on the market this offseason.
With the defending NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers probably losing Prince Fielder, and possibly Ryan Braun for 50 games, and the defending World Champion St Louis Cardinals losing Albert Pujols, the door is wide open for the Reds in the central. Before signing Madson, the Reds already had $65 million in payroll committed, without even taking arbitration players into account. Madson will push that to at least $75 million, with arbitration raises pushing the payroll right around the level of last year’s $80 million. The Reds have managed to significantly improve their team while not adding payroll, which is remarkable in this climate.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the deal is for $8.5 million.