Ryan Madson Rumors: Phillies Out, Angels In

Jeff Zelevansky

Closer Ryan Madson opted to test the free agent market again this off-season and the Angels look like the front runner for his services.

Ryan Madson will not be reuniting with his former team next year, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, who now sees the Angels as the front runner for the former Phillies closer. The 32 year old Madson left Philadelphia as a free agent for a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds but missed the entire 2012 season following Tommy John surgery. Madson declined his $11M mutual option with the Reds to become a free agent once again.

Madson is looking to return to the closer’s role and that likely factored into his decision to decline his option. The Reds have Aroldis Chapman, who posted a 1.51 and an incredible 15.3 K/9 rate in 71 innings last year and they will almost certainly keep him as their closer.

Prior to the injury, Madson had been an effective closer, saving 32 games in 34 chances for the Phillies in 2011 Philadelphia decided to sign former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon over Madson prior to the 2012 season, but while Papelbon was effective in the closer’s role, the Phillies bullpen struggled to reach him with the lead. Madson would make sense for Philly, but he would not be able to close games their either

The Angels had the third worst reliever ERA in the American League last season and could certainly use Madson. They struggled to find a closer prior to acquiring Ernesto Frieri from the Padres in May. Frieri was solid saving 23 games for Los Angeles, but he was plagued by control issues and by home runs. Madson would be a good fit for the Angels and unlike, Philadelphia and Cincinnati they can offer him the closing role. Signing Madson would go a long way toward an improved bullpen in LA.

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