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Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Ridiculous overpay if true.

Stupid, stupid, stupid by Rube where he once again gives extra years and $$ to "his" guy.

Honestly, its beginning to look like Rube isn't a very good GM.

Phillies fans used to complain that they didn't spend money. Now Phillies fans complain that they spend too much money. You either want the guy back or you don't As for what they pay them, that affects the owners and the owners only. (Unless you give a declining 1B 25 million a year and can't replace him because of it.)

No, it affects them filling other needs when they overpay for guys like this.

Its almost as if they have a finite amount of money to spend and some of us realize that they might want to use it more wisely than giving a closer this much.

What if Madson helps them win another title? Already helped them win one ...

NEPP: Unless you want marginal junk that doesn't help you differentiate, you overpay no matter what.

Ridiculous overpay if true.

Stupid, stupid, stupid by Rube where he once again gives extra years and $$ to "his" guy.

Honestly, its beginning to look like Rube isn't a very good GM.


You're kind of being really silly here NEPP. If you mark closer as a huge need and you have a good one that you have groomed into that spot than it makes sense to give him a deal that keeps him here.

I know people always want Rube to "set the market," but many times that leads to you losing out on the guy you want and settling for something less. If they feel Madson is important (something I think is debatable) then you make him an offer to keep him in the fold.

FWIW- I had heard some experts claim Madson could possibly get 12 million a year so it's not outrageous that he gets 11. The 4th year may hurt in the end but he'll only be 35-36 at that point. He may not be cooked yet.

There were other options and zero need to set the market. We could have been patient and then come up with a deal to Madson or Papelbon, etc.

Rube just likes to make a big splash and strike early.

Obviously, this is a lot of money, but he is clearly the best and most consistent relief pitcher in this class. Madson has been elite over the last four seasons. If we hadn't "set the market" where we did, someone else would have. It's a good move. You're not going to steal a talent like that from Scott Boras.

NEPP: The problem with your line of thinking is this: You have no freaking clue how much money the Phils intend to spend.

The money thing on BL is almost always BS, as a cover for attacking guys the poster hates (i.e. Jack and his legion of followers on Howard.)

You either think bringing back Madson is a good idea or that bringing someone else in is a better idea.

MG thinks Joe Nathan has a better chance of being a quality closer than Madson. I don't agree with that, but at least MG doesn't try to hide his view by claiming "Oh if we don't sign Joe Nathan we won't be able to afford J-Roll!"

Pabelbon is a better closer than Madson.

Weitzelheimer, come on. Why is it a good idea to throw completely unreasonable amounts of money at a guy because "what if" he carries them to a championship? You could use that to justify any contract to any halfway decent player. The question is, based on how we can reasonably expect him to perform, is 4/44 a good deal?

Who gives a flying fig how much money we're giving him? It's pretty clear at this point that no one has any idea what the limit is. They are busting the mythical BL 'budget' for this deal, and Rube won't even be done yet.

Madson is a proven commodity and chances are he will be pitching at a high level well into this contract. Good for Rube for locking down a proven arm for the next few years.

***NEPP: The problem with your line of thinking is this: You have no freaking clue how much money the Phils intend to spend.***

I bet they end up spending around $170-180 million. Based on recent revenue increases and a max out of their potential revenue sources, that is probably accurate.

Your line of thinking is the same line of thinking that has us paying Howard $125 million over the next 5 years.

"Pabelbon is a better closer than Madson."


All that matters is that next title. If the Phillies payroll is eleventy billion dollars next season and they win, it doesn't matter. The dollar amount only matters when they come up short. If Madson goes 1-42 in save opportunities next season and the Phils win the world Series, the contract will not matter.

I should've said people want Rube to "let the market set."

Papelbon and Madson are not that vastly different from each other but there are rumblings that Papelbon is looking for a bigger deal than Madson.

Again, if Madson is your priority than go get him and don't give anyone else a chance.


Look at their respective peripherals and get back to me. Pabelbon has better SO/9 numbers and SO/BB ratios. He also gives up less hits for his career.

Even just look at ERA+ over the last 3 years:

Papelbon: 154
Madson: 147

Papelbon is better.

The one advantage Papelbon has is that he has been closing longer. Otherwise, Madson and him have fairly similar numbers.

Seems reasonable to me. Madson is one of the top 2 closers on the market and he'll get one of the top 2 contracts.

I'd rather spend that money on a position player but I think this is a fair-market deal for Madson.

It's not nearly egregious enough in years or dollars to justify any outrage.

NEPP: There are also reports that Papelbon is looking for Rivera money which would be 15 million a year.

So now, the Phils should spend more money on a closer! (Papelbon)

Ryan Madson deserves a payday. Save from the chair incident, he's been elite since coming back from injury in '07. He pitched the 9th as effectively as he could have last season. I'm perfectly fine and glad he's coming back. Papelbon is fine too but Madson is the guy the Phils know and I think that's the best fit.

Better to spend money on the man you know. Papelbon could be another Billy the Rat.

Madson would have had a 1.50 ERA last year if you take out his worst outing in Washington. I don't know if that's fair to do, but his ERA understates how dominant he was in the majority of his outings.

Pap is not as good as madson. Sure he is a good reliever, but with his flyball rate equals blown saves. It is starting to creep up more, and he is a little off mentally. We know the phils love guys who are great clubhouse people. A change up will keep you in the game a long time. Look at Trevor hoffman. He lived with it and with ryan throwing 95-97 (before hand was hit) I am sure it will be ready in 12. I didn't want a team like texas or for crying out loud nats sneak in and we get jon rauch, or matt Capps. Look we have a good realable closer for at least for years. Now let's get cuddy and fill in pen and bench. And oh yes that shortstop position lol

I don't know if anyone jumped on this yet, but this was posted in the previous thread and demands attention.

"Phillies save percentage:

Phils SV% vs NL avg SV%

2011: 85% (55 saves, 8 blown saves) vs 69%
2010: 68% (59 saves, 19 blown saves) vs 69%
2009: 67% (66 saves, 22 blown saves) vs 67%
2008: 76% (62 saves, 15 blown saves) vs 62%
2007: 67% (63 saves, 21 blown saves) vs 61%
2006: 66% (64 saves, 22 blown saves) vs 60%
2005: 63% (63 saves, 23 blown saves) vs 61%
2004: 63% (68 saves, 25 blown saves) vs 66%
2003: 65% (51 saves, 18 blown saves) vs 69%
2002: 66% (71 saves, 24 blown saves) vs 69%"

This is a completely misleading stat. Saves can be blown in the 7th and 8th inning by non-closers. Most saves are blown by non-closers. This is true across baseball. The real reason the Phillies had a great save % in 2011 and will going forward is partly becasue Madson is very good but is also due to the fact that lesser pitchers are not pitching in 7th and 8th innings with leads. Our aces are pitching late into games and keeping middle relievers from blowing saves in the 7th and 8th innings. This stat speaks more to the strength of the guys pitching the 7th and 8th (Lee, Halladay and Cole vs journey men relievers) than the guy pitching the 9th.

Cuddyer in town today.

If we sign Cuddyer, I'm suddenly okay with this deal.

Who plays SS though...dont see it as Jimmy if we have Madson and Cuddyer under contract.

gobaystars: That's a good point. In fact, many people used Madson's save percentage prior to 2011 as evidence that he didn't have "the right stuff" to be a closer, when 8th inning guys can get blown saves but can't get saves.

By the way, I guess Madson, after 8 seasons without The Closer's Mentality, must have taken some kind of class in the offseason to learn What It Takes To Be A Closer.

Same thing with doc. Mental prep along with great stuff. I am not saying he is on level as mo, but the career paths they both have taken are similar

clout - "MG thinks Joe Nathan has a better chance of being a quality closer than Madson"

Never said that. I said I thought Nathan could be an adequate closer next year who would cost perhaps $4-5M less next year which the Phils could use to in other ways to bring in an additional reliever or upgrade the bench.

The argument for next year is whether Madson is worth the marginal difference at $10-$11M next year vs say one of the alternatives on the market place.

There are several things I hate about this deal including:

1. 4 guaranteed years and the possibility of a vested 5th for a reliever who will be 32 next year?!

2. If Amaro has backloaded this deal (which I assume he will do), then it means they will be likely paying Madson ~$13M in the last 2 years of this deal in '14 and '15.

That will mean that ~$65M alone tied up in Howard/Lee/Madson alone who will be 35/36/34 in '14. Similar amount locked up in '15. Future be damned.

3. Amaro set the market again despite there being several legit closers on the market.

4. I understand that Amaro strongly believes in being a 'first-mover' but this has backfired a few times in his face during his tenure as the GM including most notably with Howard where he likely needlessly overpaid a premium of 10-20% on Howard's extension to lock him up 3 months earlier.

5. What I don't know is how much ramping up the payroll again will inhibit the Phils' from spending in the draft next year. They have been pretty miserly the last few years. Can't imagine this coming year will be any exception.

6. Amaro has shown a clear ability to make deals and spend tons of money but we will see how his strategy turns out. My bet is that he is increasingly digging his own grave in another 3-4 years.

The things to like about this deal is that Amaro paid a premium in years/money but he did so for quality. He also didn't sign Papelbon which meant the Phils would have lost their 1st round pick this year.

Next year is Madson's Age 31 season.

Rube is a great GM...when it comes to spending top dollar to sign guys. Remember when the Mets were good at that same thing and kept making huge deals while ignoring the complimentary pieces?

Mo Rivera did sign a 4-year deal at age 31 for $40M in '01.

The difference is that Rivera was coming off several historically great seasons as a reliever at a time where offensive numbers were through the roof. Madson has been a good/very good reliever since '07 but not great any year.

If Madson can duplicate his '10-'11 performances over the next 3 years, then this deal won't be that bad but my bet is the Phils get poor value for this deal overall.

Mariano Rivera is the greatest reliever in the history of baseball and should never ever be used as a comparison point for any other reliever as his average year is literally like watching Gretzky in the early 1980s. Nobody is close. Madson is never going to be 1/10th the reliever that Mo is...nobody is.

Based on nothing, I assume the draft budget is separate from the Major league budget. They weren't going to suddenly spend $10 million on the draft if they went after Nathan.

Since 2006, Cuddyer has played 814 games. Of those 814 games, Cuddyer played only 40 games at positions other than RF, 1B and DH.

Rather than a versatile player, Cuddyer is a RF/1B who fills in at other positions, on an emergency basis, maybe a half dozen times a season.

Cuddyer is a bad RF defensively, and that's his best position.

And he'll get at least a three-year deal.

Thumbs down.

Mo has a 245 ERA+ in his last 3 seasons with a 5.71 SO/BB and a 0.879 WHIP. Those were his Age 39-41 seasons BTW.

BB - "Based on nothing, I assume the draft budget is separate from the Major league budget. They weren't going to suddenly spend $10 million on the draft if they went after Nathan."

Why? A cost is a cost.

NEPP - "Rube is a great GM...when it comes to spending top dollar to sign guys."

Yup. People got all crazy he signed Lee for less money that the Yanks offered but the Phils still offered a higher annual amount than the Yanks did.

If this team just resigns JRoll/Madson as their man off season moves, they will incredibly top heavy again with little depth.

MG, but, but, but Jim Thome!!!!

(okay, I'm with you - Mad Dog and JRoll doesn't quite do it, especially with Howard uncertainty)

This is a fair deal for both sides. Madson earned his payday and the Phillies solidified the closer role going forward. With his performance and health history, 4 years is not unreasonable.

Unless one feels strongly that Papelbon is better than Madson and would be consistently better over the 4 years, there was no reason to make him the priority target, because he was not going to be cheaper.
Could RAJ have waited to see how the market played out before committing? Sure, but is the money you might save worth the risk of perhaps not getting the guy you want and then settling for the next tier level or a 1-yr fix?

As for JRoll, I offer a 2-yr deal or I let him walk. Put Galvis or another good glove at SS and hope to make up some of the lost offense through better bats at some other positions, like 3B or LF. If Galvis is a complete bust with the bat, then in 2013 you go after a SS. By then you are gambling that there will be a SS available who will be better than JRoll at that stage.

I am not no way shape or form comparing the two. I stated that the career paths are the same. Don't assume anything nepp. Check the statement skippy

I think people should wait to criticize the move until we see how some other moves shake out. That means moves we make to finish out the team and deals other closers get.

But I know some of our online GM's like to analyze everything in a vacuum, so that is probably asking for too much.

MG - As far as Draft compensation, the Rube probably botched it by taking Madson over Pap. While he would have surrendered a 1st to sign Pap, he would have gotten one back as well as a supplemental by letting Madson walk. All in all, Madson over Papelbon is a net loss of a draft pick they could have had to restock the farm. If they end up signing Cuddy that pick disappears anyway.

TTI - Yeah you have to see how other moves pan out but I would love to see FA deals the last 10-15 years for veteran closer that were 3+ years.

$9-11m per year is kinda what everyone expected, isn't it? Isn't that the going rate for a top tier closer on the open market? The 4+option years is a little surprising but really only 1 more than I would have anticipated. It's an overpay, but really not a huge one once the winner's curse is taken as a baseline on all free agent signings. A below market, team friendly deal would have been nice, but it probably wasn't in the cards.

My one criticism of Ruben in the whole thing is not the size of the deal or the whole setting the market, it's that he doesn't get a discount for moving so quickly. Ibanez signed early and proved to be an overpay when all was said and done, so was Howard (especially Howard). If you are going to do a lightening strike to get someone signed it ought to be for either a scarce commodity in the market (which Howard, Madson, and Ibanez were not) or for a team-friendly deal (which Howard, Madson, and Ibanez were not)

Madson is now the 2nd highest paid closer in baseball and will likely end up around #3 overall after Papelbon signs.

Is he really at that level after 3/4 of a season as a Closer?

This is same old one year too long of a deal. We will be stuck with Madson for next 4 years no matter how good or bad he will be. One year too long one year too long....ONE YEAR TOO LONG>>>

***One year too long one year too long....ONE YEAR TOO LONG>>>***

Pretty much my biggest issue with it. 3 years, $33 million would have been a much better deal. 4 years is a long time...especially for a relief pitcher.

NEPP: If you could pick from all the closers in baseball, how many would you prefer to Madson? 2? 3?

"Look at their respective peripherals and get back to me."

Well, OK. Looking at ERA+, Madson was better in 2010. Madson was also better in 2011. Papelbon is clearly not pitching at the level he was earlier in his career, even though he's still a very good pitcher, whereas Madson has been a consistently outstanding reliever since 2007 and is coming off of his two best seasons. Papelbon is just one season removed from a pretty awful year that almost got him traded.

But yeah, as far as DITHL+ goes, Papelbon has him beat by a mile, so I can see why you speak so authoritatively on the issue.

Madson would probably be Top 5. But then, it would also include non-arbitration eligible guys that dont make anything and thus would make your point.

Its not so much the upfront cash as it is the length of the deal to a 31 year old reliever.

What Jbird said. NEPP, you're being ridiculous.

Madson is an elite relief pitcher and has been for several years. He is worth top-dollar, period. Don't try to discount Madson's worth to this team while quibbling over the length of the contract. They are two different arguments entirely.

I wasnt arguing that Madson wasn't an elite reliever...I'm arguing that the contract is excessive.

Which I think it is as it is 4, possibly 5 years in length.

Rube told Boras that this deal was on the table as long as Heavy D was alive.

And another miss from rauls grandpa.

NEPP: I'll agree with you that like all of Amaro's contracts, It's a year too long. You'll feel better about this deal though, once Cuddyer signs for 7 years.

I love Madson, and still think this is a serious overpay. So that sort of destroys Clouts theory that complaining about money is a cover for attacking players I hate. Clout knows I advocated Madson for closer as far back as anyone.

Someone tell me how many big time deals for closers in their 30s work out well.

Based on his history (Rube's that is), Cuddyer will get 4 years, $36 million.

I really hope that we simply blow everyone away on Cespedes personally. A 26 year old CF who is supposedly the best player to come out of Cuba in a generation would be a nice piece to add.

I'm sure all of the people praising this deal thought the K-Rod deal was a great one for the Mets, right?

***Someone tell me how many big time deals for closers in their 30s work out well.***

Well, there's Mo Rivera...and Mo Rivera and then Mo Rivera again....and Mo Rivera a 4th time.

Nathan gave the Twins 2 great years, 1 missed year and 1 okay year last year on his 4 year deal.

Hoffman was a good value on most of his Age 30+ deals.

There have been plenty of effective closers after Age 30 but few that have gone 4 straight elite years as there are simply very few closers that are consistenly elite period.

What does K-Rod have to do with Ryan Madson?

One beats up his father in law and the other merely attacks furniture?

Anyone have a list of deals to closers that have been 3+ years over the past 10-15 years?

NEPP: Also, Tigers signed Valverde at age 33 for $23M (including year 3 option which they already exercised.)

Jack, as usual, is wrong.

As for the player not being worth the money in the final year of a long contract, that NEVER happens, so I can see why the BL money worriers are all over Rube.

If one of you jokers had a better plan than just whining about the money, I'd love to read it.

Oh, and MG, would you like to bet who has a better season next year: Nathan or Madson?

Bobby: Yeah I don't get the comparison either. I do remember at the time though most people felt a 3 year 37 million dollar deal for a 26 year old closer was pretty good though. He was coming off 4 straight seasons of 40+ saves. There was one little red flag in that his SO/9 declined but it wasn't like the Mets grossly overpaid for him.

Maybe Jack had a crystal ball and knew that KRod would get a bad back and then beat up his father-in-law.

If he could see into the future though I would hope Jack would actually do something useful with that talent than post on a Phillies message board though.

Its smart to ignore historical evidence that long term big money contracts to closers rarely work out. After all, having him be an outlier is far more likely.

I understand the concern that $11M is pretty stiff for a closer -- even an elite one. But how on earth can anyone possibly know today that a 4-year deal to Madson is exactly one year too long? Madson will turn 32 next year, so he'll be 35 in his 4th season. Is there something magical about the year between ages 34 and 35, such that Madson is likely to still be good at 34, but not at age 35? In point of fact, 35 isn't that old for a reliever with good control & a killer change-up. Trevor Hoffman was still an elite closer into his 40s.

bap, that's easy. Every contract that Rube has ever given out has been 1 year too long.

When BAP's the voice of reason...

Are some of you new to following baseball offseasons? Here's how it works and has for years: Player comes up and is cheap. Builds towards prime and hits free agency midway through said prime. Teams then pay prime money for the remainder of prime and a few decline years. Paying for a few post-prime years is the cost of getting the prime years. If a team is successful they are able to bring up cheap young talent to offset the cost of "over paying" the past their prime players. This is how it works with every single 30-33 year old free agent in baseball. Would you feel better if contracts were frontloaded and expired as guys moved beyond their primes? Ok Madson for 2 Years at $22 mil per year?

Gobaystars: I would feel better if the Phillies had a bunch of top young prospects to fill in the roster for cheap, like you said. Hopefully Dom works out, if he's even given the chance.

The offense needs a lot of work. I wonder where it's going to come from.

clout - No. I would bet that Madson has the better year. Just wonder what the difference will be between what Nathan gets and how their performances turn out.

I quickly did look back through '06 and there really haven't been that many 3+ years to FA relievers in general:

Baez - 3 yrs/$19M
J. Walker - 3 yrs/$12M
Speier - 4 yrs/$18M
Bradford - 3 yrs/$10.5M
Schoeneweis - 3 yrs/$10.8M

Every single one of those contracts was a disaster.

F. Cordero - 4 yrs/$46M
Linebrink - 4 yrs/$19M
Riske - 3 yrs/$13M
Rivera - 3 yrs/$45M

Rivera was great. Cordero has given the Reds 2 good years and 2 average years. Other two were failures.

Marte - 3 yrs/$12M
KRod - 3 yrs/$37M

KRod gave the Mets 1 good year, 1 1/2 average years before he was traded. Marte was a failure.

Lyon - 3 yrs/$15M
Chapman - 6 yrs/$30.3M

Lyon was a complete failure and jury is still out on Chapman.

Soriano - 3 yrs/$35M
Benoit - 3 yrs/$16.5M
Guerrier - 3 yrs/$12M
Crain - 3 yrs/$13M

Finally got back to the lengthier and larger contracts for relievers last year after the lull in '08-'09 due to economic slowdown.

Benoit & Crain had good first years. Guerrier and Soriano didn't.

Now of course you can added a couple of contracts to this one who didn't technically become FA including Lidge, Madson, and Romero from the Phils. Nathan also can be added to that list and I am sure there are several more.

Signing a reliever to a 3-yr deal is almost certainly to end badly. I had forgot about the Cordero deal which all things considered didn't go that badly for the Reds. Still, he and Rivera are the outliers and not the norm on this list.

TTI - Actually Jack didn't need a crystal ball. There were multiple concerns about signing KRod including his back and his stuff (declining K/BB ration and fastball velocity).

If Madson gives the Phils 2 really good years (WAR that is 2+) and 2 average years (WAR of ~1 WAR), the it won't be a terrible deal.

It means he has to stay healthy for all 4 years though to pitch at least 60+ IP too.

The fangraphs writers chatting right now all agree that this contract is, in their words, "batsh*t crazy." I find it hard to disagree with that.

MG -

He's yet to have a single year over 1.7 WAR. There is really no reason to think he's going to start popping out 2+ WAR seasons at the age of 32.

Didn't even see this mentioned on here that Chuck LaMar got signed as a special assistant to the Blue Jays for amateur scouting a few days ago.

He didn't have trouble finding another job but it is a clear demotion from his gig with the Phils.

On the one hand, you would think signing Lidge to a 3-yr deal during which he spent as much time pitching hurt - or being on the DL - as he did pitching healthy, would have cured Amaro of making a long-term deal for a closer.

On the other hand, Madson's been consistently very good as a RP.

Steve - Hence why I think it is a terrible deal besides the fact that Madson has to stay healthy for all 4 years into his mid-30s.

Fangraphs isn't trying to win the world series. If 3 closers sign "bash8t crazy" contracts this year with three contending teams and one contending team is left with no closer, who exactly is batsh8t crazy?

GBrett: The Lidge hand had a history of injuries and major inconsistency, plus they gave him that contract during the season, when they probably should've waited until after the season to see if he remained healthy, except for the fact they knew Lidge, liked Lidge and wanted him locked up.

Good article today on 'bang for the buck' GMs on Hardball Times:

- Gillick comes out as the 7th best GM in the 'Most wins above expectation in a career' in the free agent era

- Chuck LaMar is rated as one of the worst GMs in the free agent era

- Some interesting takes on where GMs ranked in terms of payroll efficiency including some of the Owens and Amaro with the 2011 Phils

Its not necessarily his age that's the issue. Most reliever have a few good years then they tend to bomb out. If he bombs out after let's say next year we are stuck with him. The vesting option for the 5th made it even worse. He has become untradable like the Big Piece now if we should decide it isnt working out...Any more room as a Cardinals fan...

Sure, if Madson helps them win a WS, the deal seems fine. Ibanez, Polanco, Halladay, Lee et al were supposed to bring a WS and everything would be hunky dory too, but I don't see them wearing any rings.

Someone please tell me where the offense is coming from to win a WS. We were 7th in the league last year, and now have a team a year older, and likely without Howard for a few months, and maybe without Rollins completely. I was laughed at for predicting we'd finish outside the top 5 in offense last year. Right now, we'd be lucky to finish 7th again.

Jack, it's been how many days since the offseason has officially begun? You've become DPatrone, without the unintentional humor.

Bed's Beard: I liked the Thome move. Does that make you happy?

"The offense needs a lot of work. I wonder where it's going to come from."

Dear Chicken Little,

It's November 8th.

The Rational-Thinking Community

I think part of my issue with the people who instantly attack this move is the apparent belief the Phillies are just throwing money around a la carte, and have no plan in place. The "where is the offense going to come from" is exactly the point. I assume, if the Phils signed Cuddyer a few days ago, the same people would be saying "but who will be closing!?!"

What sane person would actually use WAR to judge if you get proper value for a contract, especially with a relief pitcher?

So to MG, if Madson duplicates this last season's output of 1.7 WAR for the next two seasons, that will not be good enough. But if he bumps it up to 2.0, it will be worth it? What a stupid statement.

Iceman - WAR completely, does that list above of relievers given 3+ year contracts the last several years bode well for the Madson contract?

I am not a fan of the 'average replacement reliever' where any reliever from AA/AAA who posts very good/good stats can automatically post around league average results at the MLB level but giving a closer a 4-yr deal is just a bad idea on several fronts.

What MG said....I hope Madson can swing a bat as well...

Hey, the Red Sox spent the last couple of years like the elite team they were ... And that got them real far. Lackey, Crawford, etc. But I bet their fans thought every move was a great one too.

If only the Cardinals had an elite closer, maybe they would've gotten over the hump and won a World Series, you know?

Motte was pretty forking good in the playoffs.

Jack, my boy, you're pissing in the wind.

You're right Jack, the Phillies shouldn't go after the best players available. They should do like the Cards and go for lesser talent and hope it all breaks right.
It all broke right for SF and they got a championship and then didn't really contend the next year. It could be the same for the Cards this year. The Phillies do everything they can to be in the best position to win it every year. It doesn't always work out.

"Every contract that Rube has ever given out has been 1 year too long."

Not true. The Ryan Howard contract was at least 3 years too long.

"Most relievers have a few good years then they tend to bomb out."

Most relievers ended up in the bullpen because they have immense trouble throwing strikes. Brad Lidge, for instance. Or Jose Valverde. Or Brian Wilson, Jonathan Broxton, Carlos Marmol, Craig Kimbrel, and Kevin Gregg. So, when their stuff starts to fade even a little bit, or their already-spotty control gets a little worse over an extended period, it's over.

Madson has the control of a starter -- and a good starter, at that. His chances of being good into his mid 30s are, therefore, considerably better than most relievers.

Good signing. The kid's in his prime. Now to sign some relatively cheap veteran arms for middle relief and we are set in the bullpen.

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