In the mailbag from CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Salisbury states there is mutual interest between the Phillies and RHP Ryan Madson for a reunion. Madson, now 33, last pitched in 2011 in Game 5 of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, throwing a scoreless frame in the top of the ninth of the 1-0 loss.
After 2011, Madson signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds to become their closer before succumbing to an elbow injury in Spring Training. Madson attempted to return in 2013, signing a one-year, $3.25 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels but once again fell to injury, pitching just one game for High-A Inland Empire.
Madson was borderline dominant as a set-up man for the 2007-2011 Phillies, accumulating an impressive 5.4 fWAR as a reliever in that time period with top 30 FIP and xFIPs among relievers. In his only season as the Phillies full-time closer, Madson posted a 2.37 ERA with 32 saves.
In Salisbury’s piece, he states that Madson will likely begin throwing for teams in January and most likely will have to accept a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. This is certainly a worthwhile gamble for the Phillies in a number of ways: if Madson can return to form, he is a great asset in the bullpen. If a healthy Madson plays for the Phillies as currently constructed, aka a team that is not expected to do very well, he may be able to net a prospect at the trade deadilne.