Jim Salisbury reports the Phillies have signed reliever Ryan Madson to a three-year, $12 million deal with incentives.
More to come.
Thoughts: Slowly but surely, the Phillies are knocking down bricks in the wall of arbitration. Madson, 28, will now pitch in Philadelphia through his prime years, just as Cole Hamels, 25, will continue establishing himself as one of baseball’s top left-handers, just as Greg Dobbs, 30, will finish his prime as the game’s top pinch hitter. You see where this is going: The Phillies are assuring an open window for more world titles until at least 2011, barring any unforseen problems.
Madson gets a deal similiar to JC Romero, who scored a 3Y/$12M deal coming off of one strong second half. Madson also had a strong second half (and postseason), but has also established himself in six seasons as a consistent relief piece. His two poorest years came via injury and a mishandled stint in the rotation; otherwise, he’s been the team’s top relief arm, a solid rock in an ever-changing collection. His deal is deserved.
Madson was also gambling with half a stack. If he declined offers and waited out arbitration, he would’ve subject himself to a thoroughly stressful 2009, one that would make or break his future. Instead, he’s set for life and doesn’t have to leave the organization that drafted him, almost assuring he’ll be pitching in high-profile situations until 2012 (outside of the Red Sox and Yankees, this is the most surefire playoff situation annually).
Most of all, the Phillies are attempting to establishing the makings of (and I say this word incredibly lossely) a dynasty. They’ve locked up their prime setup man, who may have a nine-year Phillie career under his belt. That’s pretty impressive.