An MLB.com report says the Phillies are closing in on a four-year deal with closer Ryan Madson.
The contract is said to include a fifth-year vesting option. A follow-up report from Yahoo! Sports says the deal is worth $44 million with a $13 million option for a fifth year. Meanwhile, CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury says Jonathan Papelbon is still in the picture and expects the Phils to sign one of them in the coming days.
Beerleaguer: The Phillies may regret four years at the lengthy cost of $11M/per, but not if he helps them win a title, as he did in 2008. The Phils are reportedly prepared to spend like the elite team they are, and it's a good sign they're finacially committed to keeping the window open. Ruben Amaro said free agency was going to be their only avenue to address the bullpen, and I agree that Madson was the one that should set the bar. In eight seasons, he's been one of the game's consistently great relievers. He's also 31. That's why he'll reportedly become the first marquee free agent to get signed.
No matter what you say about the value of closers relative to the dollars spent and innings worked, it's tough to put a price on the certainty of knowing the Cy Young-quality work of Halladay, Lee and Hamels doesn't get wiped out in the ninth inning. In that regard, $11M a season spent on late-game security seems reasonable.