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Friday, January 16, 2009

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Just another example of why I despise Scott Boras. If greed is one of the seven deadly sins, then Boras is none other than the devil in disguise.

Madson is fool not to sign that contract.

Pops: I disagree,his arrogance is too big for any disguise.

All these statements about Boras may be true, but he usually seems to find someone to pay his price.

I'm surprised we offered him that much. Other than Boras whispering in his ear, I see no reason for him not to sign that contract. The deal he signs after 2009 will likely not be this good.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that they looked at Romero's deal from last year and Boras convinced Madson that he could do better. He's taking a huge risk nonetheless.

getting ready to go to PHX for the big game....always thought Madson had more potential; he was good then dipped down a bit in 2007 or so.... think he could be a closer somewhere; you've gotta admire his self-confidence in turning down the deal. Boras is one of the main reasons baseball is just not as much fun as it used to be. Is he Furcal's agent?

I'm very surprised that people are taking the Phillies side on the Madson negotiations. Madson has an ERA+ of 146 over the last two years. He also has a career ERA+ of 146* excluding his disastrous 2006, which was only due to him starting. He'll also only be 29 when he's a free agent. Compare to these contracts:

2009
Brian Fuentes (32): 2/$17.5 million - 157 ERA+ (last 4 years)
Kerry Wood (31): 2/$20.5 million - 138 ERA+ (last 2 years)
Kyle Farnsworth (32): 2/$9.25 million - 99 ERA+ (last 3 years)

If you go back to 2008 and look at the contracts of Scott Linebrink and Fransisco Cordero, the numbers get even more ridiculous.

An offer of 3 years/$12 million is absolutely laughable for a pitcher of Madson's caliber. It's not even the starting point for negotiations. Even if you factor in that Madson will only make about ~2.5 million if he goes to arbitration this year, the offer is still absurd.

*Ballpark calculation since I'm not a Baseball-Reference subscriber

jeremy: yeah the only difference between those names and madson is that they are all proven closers. madson is not. your going to give the guy top closer money when hes never even closed before.

Good job on Dobbs. Fair deal for both sides.

Madson should pay attention to Juan Cruz. He should have jumped at that deal. Even a proven closer like Feuntes is only worth $9-$10 million a year.

The only scenario under which Madson loses is if the recession is longer and deeper than some people think. The offer is at the going rate for 7th- and 8th-inning guys, so unless he proves (again) that he can't handle the pressure, he'll do at least this well on the open market, even if nobody thinks he can close games.

Mind you, I'm not saying the Phils should have offered more. I'm no big fan of Madson, and if he leaves he'll be replaceable, probably by someone making $4 million a year. But there's no sense getting mad at Boras.

Alby - Agreed. Don't understand the anger at Boras either. His goal is to get his client (Madson) the best deal possible.

Besides the obvious risk factor, the one thing I don't understand though is Boras' thinking that he will be able to get Madson a closer-type next year. With Lidge firmly entrenched, Madson won't have the chance to demonstrate himself as a closer.

Say Madson gives the Phils something like this: 75-80 innings, 3.00-3.25 ERA, 1.20-1.25 WHIP, .75-1.0 K/IP

Is a team going to be willing to sign him as a closer (I say yes) but I guess it greatly depends on the real agent market next year and what closer are available and what teams need a closer.

Also, it is incredibly important that Boras is able to get Madson a 3rd guaranteed year (or at least an option that becomes vested with some kind of performance targets) to really get his the big dollars he wants and really make the difference from the Phils' offer.

I could Madson though signing next year somewhere else as a closer for close to what Fuentes got this year (2 yr/$15-16M say)

Good for Dobbs and the Phillies. A no-brainer if I ever saw one at that price.
Still, if we're talking historical Phillies pinch hitters. I'll take Dobbs over Gross, who probably holds the all-time Phils record for PHs. No. 1 Phils pinch hitter of all time?? My nominee is Del Unser.

As for Madson, if he can feature the filth and cheese he had in the postseason for an entire season, god bless him. Get that money. I'm no Boras fan, but you gotta give him credit for steering Lohse into a huge payday. I thought the Phils were crazy to offer him 3/ $20+ and that he was crazier to say no. He's laughing all the way to the bank.

"if he can feature the filth and cheese he had in the postseason"

Big if, which is why I think Madson will live to regret shying away from 3yr 12mil. As long as he's a phillie i'll be on his side to perform well, but i wouldn't be wagering that kind of $$ on it.

Madson hasn't broken out, but he's proven that he can hang in the major leagues. I think he has room for improvement and I think he'll do as well financially over the next 3 years as the Phillies offered. Much better if he is impressive this year. I think he'll get about $4mil in arbitration this year, too, so no Lohse-esque volunteer work.

rE: "clout - in keeping up with absurd situations"

Go ahead and compare ballpark dimensions around the league with offensive talent and pitching staffs. You'll find a much wider range in talent from team to team in certain areas are much more drastic than ballpark dimensions.

I'm not trying to discredit OPS+, i was attempting to ask how otheres value the difference of players' OPS+ units. I responded to your OPS remark by letting you know that OPS can be measured in actual units, which is why comparing two players OPS seems easier to see which player performed better. I understand the reason for asserting park factors, but believe that it is overstated.

To clear up my argument better, put a cellar dwellar type offense on the Phillies with the performance of last year's pitching staff and the park factor will swing lower quite a bit. OPS+ penalizes teams who hit well in their own park. Sometimes it is justified, but not always.

Didnt CBP rank as the top one or two hitters park for a few years in a row and then drop down to the middle of the pack the last two?

Madson did the smart thing. He can onlylose if he is badly injured. He gets rattled when he gives up a hit, but his stats will get him at least that much (3 /12mil) next year... And he might get lucky and get a Kyle Farnsworth type deal (6-7mil per) from one of the big spenders, even if he i does'nt get a closers deal.

At least we can offer him arbitration and get a pick (or picks?) and don't have to worry about him accepting it.

"if he can feature the filth and cheese he had in the postseason"

Big if, which is why I think Madson will live to regret shying away from 3yr 12mil. be wagering that kind of $$ on it.

Posted by: thephaithful | Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 12:29 AM

We'll see what teh numbers are on Monday. I don't think it's a big risk. What do you think the Phils' offer will be in arbitration? $3mm?
ka ching

Madson as valuable trade chip, barring arm blowout in May.

I listened to a radio interview Madson had with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow after the season ended. He is not going to sign anything. He made it pretty clear that he is going to test the free agency market after this year. It is unfortunate, but he this is likely his last year with the Phils. I would imagine he is going to be looking at the Fuentes deal as a gauge. He probably would not sign for twice what the Phils offered.

With the arbitration of Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard lurking, the Phils received a slight reprieve when Greg Dobbs avoided arbitration and signed a 2 year $2.5M contract. Dobbs will continue seeing time at 3rd base, outfield, pinch-hitter, and his most important job- team sideburn consultant.

Boras is an idiot.

jeremy: "I'm very surprised that people are taking the Phillies side on the Madson negotiations."

Then you haven't been reading Beerleaguer very closely. At least 90% of posters here always side with management on money issues when it comes to players. This is not unique to Beerleaguer either. Fans tend to side with billionaires against millionaires, just as they sided with millionaires against thousandaires back in the 1960s.

Posters here have sided with management in every major contract or arb negotiation: Burrell, Howard, Hamels etc. etc.

Hugh: Agreed. If Phils offer $3M and Madson offers $4M, the arb is just as likely to go with the 4, given what setup/closer types are signing for. Thus, Madson gets paid the same as he would've gotten in the Phils 3-year offer, but has the chance to test free agency. You're right, not a big risk at all.

Clout: I don't know that they're siding with management (though, ultimately they are), so much as they are siding with keeping Player X on the Phillies.

re Arbitration: Which side (MLB or MLBPA) thought that making it an either/or proposition would be best for the game? Doesn't common sense tell you that allowing the arbitrator to set the salary at his/her discretion somewhere between (or including) both side's bids would be the fairest way to do this? Anyway, I'm hoping that the next time the CBA is up that both sides will take a look at this issue.

P.S. As MLB wins a majority of the arbitration cases (with, y'know, the exception of the Phillies), I'm going to guess that they're the ones that want to keep arbitration at status quo.

Madson will sign a year from now, with someone else. Let's just hope the 95 mph heater he found in August is still there in April. That thing makes his change nearly unhittable.

Jeltz - The downside, and I'm not saying I hate your idea, but the downside is that if the "fair compromise" arbitration was in place, both sides would make their demands completely outrageous. In the end, the arbitrators, might end up setting the entire salary structure for baseball.

Madson is taking a risk for sure, but obviously he feels like it all came together for him last year and he'll be a hot commodity after the upcoming season.

Reality? Who knows.

I do know this however. With Romero out for 1/3 of the season, and no inclination that we will keep Madson after this year, he is going to be called on to pitch more bullpen innings and more back to back days than ever before .... headed for a breakdown or a tough 2010 due to overuse? I'd wouldn't bet against it.

He's going to be used just as what he is, a short-time player for the Phils in 2009 - why worry about long-term health when he's leaving anyway?

I think Charlie will ride his arm hard all year. We'll see what he has left in Aug./Sept.

I heard an interesting thing on WFAN the other day and it sort of parallels what I've been saying for years: at some point-and it looks to be starting now-the salary madness has to stop. It simply can't continue. In no other business does the graph (in this case the players' salaries) do a continuous vertical line. At this rate, in 10 years or less, what is your minimun salary going to be? $5 million? With the corporations not being able to continue to pay big bills, it's gotta stop. I think he's a fool to not sign it.

"Baseball Arbitration" is a term of art in the legal field. In a sense it is the most pure form of arbitration, where a neutral chooses one side over the other. It is not an arbitrator's job to 'split hte baby' or broker compromise. That is the parties' role.

I'll take Madson's side.

Remember a couple of things:

One, Rich Dubee (who did him a big favor) had a conversation with him during ST last season questioning his work ethic and saying Madson was cheating himself and his family. Madson responded by committing to a more intense workout regime and being more coach-able. By the end of the season we saw the results both on the field and in his his health and ability to pitch lights out into the deep post season.

Two, Madson will probably make at least $2MM this season, and will probably make at least the $4MM/yr the Phillies are offering him for the two years beyond that, even if he's offered arb and designated a Type A.

So......what's the risk? Realistically, probably about $2MM over the next three years.

OTOH, if he's as effective all season as he was the last half of '08, and Boras can sell him as a closer, he could stand to make a payday that is at least what Kyle Lohse and Tom Gordon got, $6MM/yr.

If that's the case then he could make $14MM over the next three years instead of $12MM, with another $6MM right behind that.

If the economy is still in the crapper in 11 months he'll probably still be able to get 2 yrs at $4MM/yr.

So the risk to Mad Dog is $12MM +/- $2MM over the next 3 years.

Either figure is enough to retire on if he takes care of his money, so, IMO, it's well worth the risk.


Would I like to see Madson as the Phils' setup man the next three seasons? Sure, but I'm also enough of a realist to know that wasn't going to happen - not with the dearth of quality pitching around MLB, and not with other teams who still lack closers.

The Boras hatred is perception of a player being selfish.

It is natural that we all look out for ourselves at the end of the day.

However with Boras he plays such hardball and knows he represents a quality product that ultimately someone will cave into meeting their "acceptable" fair value.

This then handcuffs the team in making other decisions with high profile players and as much as we would love to have Manny we would eventually loathe the decision at the first glance of underperformance or selfishness (see Andrew Jones and JD Drew).

We like to see good soldiers like Jimmy, Chase, and Lidge sign long deals which show loyalty and a desire to stay in Philly.

Basically the "if you don't want us we don't want you" mentally.

Whether Madson wants to try free agency or not he would have been way better off saying he wants to stay in Philly and see what happens.

I guess he forgets how close the bullpen is to the fans at CBP.

The real risk to Mad Dog is injury, but if you are him, you can't really think like that.

Clout - Agreed. I finding it amazing (and disgusting) that so often the fans seem to side with the owners vs. the players in salary discussions. If there is one constant in baseball history, it is that the owners have tried just about every method (legal and many illegal), to hold down salaries.

One of the biggest reason I don't want to see a salary cap in baseball is that it means more a greater % of team revenue goes into the owners' pockets eventually.

People point to a lot of things wrong with Selig's tenure as GM but the one thing that disgusts me more than any other is the tactics (some persuasive, some hardball) that Selig and the MLB owners have used over the past 15 years on local and city governments to build them largely publicly-financed stadiums. Just taking tax dollars and subsidizing multi-millionaires or billionaires.

I think Madson is showing tremendous confidence in his ability. Let's face it, if Madson pitches in 2009 like he did the last 6 or 7 weeks of 2008 his gamble will payoff in a big way. If he reverts to the old Madson he'll probably sign for something somewhat less than the Phillies are offering. Like AWH said his biggest risk is injury. Personally I don't know how he exploded like he did late last season, but I would be surprised if he could do anything remotely like that for all of 2009. Hope I'm wrong on that point.

I dont see how thinking that Madson should have signed the deal is considered "siding with the owners".

Recent player / front office disputes:

Not giving arb. to Burrell: if offer'd arb they'd be paying twice his market value.

Howard longerm: if phils gave howard what he wanted Howard would have an Arod contract.

Madson: offered to pay more in his arb year to get a discount in his free agent year - seems fair.

Those decisions seems good to me. I'm hardly a cheerleader for the front office, but they've made more right moves than wrong in the past few years.


OTOH, is Madson pitches in 2009 as he did the last 2 months of 2008, it is going to go a long way to make up for a little regression from Lidge.

The Mets understand the competitive threat and effectiveness of the Madson-Lidge 1-2 punch (we all saw that in the playoffs - basically, the Phillies were playing 7 inning games if they entered the 8th with a lead), and believed they had to match it with Putz-Rodriguez. (Imitation is, indeed, the most sincere form of flattery.)

If Mad Dog does replicate the tail end of last season, and Lidge saves 90% of his chances, they should be in contention all season, even with Romero out the first third of the season.

According to MLBTR, Phillies sign Hamels to a 3yr/20.5 mil. deal. It's a steal if he stays healthy and it at least buys out his arb years.

News from SI.com - Hamels and the Phils have avoided arbitration and have agreed on a 3-year, 20.5 million dollar deal.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/01/17/hamels.phillies/index.html

Per NY Post, Phillies have signed Hamels to a three-year, $20.5 million deal.

Very solid move. Gives Hamels some long-term security, while likely (hopefully) saving the team money in arb for the next few years. Good to see the two sides are able to work together amicably too.

Phils sign hamels to 3 year, $20.5 million contract.

Hamels deal buys out all of arb years except 1. Hamels is considered a "Super Two"

"the one thing that disgusts me more than any other is the tactics (some persuasive, some hardball) that Selig and the MLB owners have used over the past 15 years on local and city governments to build them largely publicly-financed stadiums. Just taking tax dollars and subsidizing multi-millionaires or billionaires."

The situations in NY are the worst. The Yankees needed $900 million from the city to build their new park, but could afford to spend $243 million on just two players this offseason. Meanwhile, The City University of New York had to take a $65 million budget cut this year, like many other city and state agencies.

And Citi bank is getting billions of dollars in US taxpayer money, but they can afford to keep a $400 million naming rights deal for the new Mets stadium.

I hate to sound like a Marxist, but its literally class warfare, and we happily pay them for it.

Good news about Hamels though!

Credit the Giants though (San Fran version) as they built the stadium with their own money (at least I'm pretty positive about that, MG or BAP would know better from living out there). Beautiful park out there.

Great news about Hamels.

thephaithful: Management offers a contract, player rejects it. You say he should've accepted. That is the very definition of siding with the owenrs. Baffling that you don't understand that.

Nice job to lock up Hamels through his arb. years. Gives the Phils a little cost certainty for a couple years.

As for Madson, we saw that he can pitch under the pressure of the post-season. It will be interesting to see how he pitches knowing it's for a contract.

timr, despite my being an unashamed and unrepentant libertarian capitalist, I cannot disagree with your post.

The other baffling thing is posters who act like last season was a bizarre aberration for Madson.

Madson finished last season with an ERA+ of 144. That was WORSE than the previous year. Madson has had ERA+ of 192, 106 and 151 and WHIP of 1.13, 1.25 and 1.26 in past seasons.

It's as if his one bad year -- as a starter -- has caused amnesia about his other seasons. Last year was very much in line with his prior seasons in the bullpen. The main difference is he was given greater responsibility as setup man. But the stats are about the same.

No wonder Cole and Heidi just dropped $2.5 MM on that CC condo. They knew this payday was coming.

Good for him and his family, and good for the Phillies - security for one side, and cost certainty with one of the few true ACES in MLB for the other.

It also creates goodwill with the player and eliminates the ag of going to arb every year. Also, if he stays healthy and pitches well, they can extend him for three more years with a year left on the current deal (assuming he wants to stay instead of looking for a Sabathia, Santana or Brown of Burnett type deal.

Hamels signed

20.5 over 3

Nice job by Amaro on the Hamels signing. Probably save them some money over the next few years and gives them some flexibility.

Madson suffers from the same image disorder Burrell used to. Despite putting up numbers year in and year out, everyone thinks he's a lot worse than he is.

Yo, new thread for more breaking Hamels signed posts.

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