Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Olney: Madson best 'value' move of winter

"Mad Dog" posted a tidy 2.37 ERA and 32 saves
with the Phils in 2011

There's been a general sentiment shared by people around the league since the Reds signed free agent closer Ryan Madsonthis winter -- the move was an absolute steal. Not only did the team secure a younger pitcher at a cheaper price than the $12 million option they held (and subsequently declined) for Francisco Cordero this season, but they managed to make the powerhouse Phillies look foolish in the process.

In an offseason that produced over $1.2 billion in free agent contracts, many view Madson's 1yr/$8.5M deal as the best under-the-radar move of the winter, including ESPN.com's Buster Olney. In his most recent blog entry ("The winter's top ten value moves") Olney places the new Cincinnati closer at the top of his rankings. Here is the excerpt on Madson:

1. Ryan Madson: One year/$8.5 million, Cincinnati Reds

Some general managers viewed Madson as one of the top three free-agent relievers in the market, maybe just a bit behind Jonathan Papelbon, because he doesn't have as much experience as a closer, but right along with Heath Bell because of Madson's stuff and postseason notches. But when the big dollars were paid out, Madson was still unsigned, and in the end Cincinnati got an outstanding reliever for a short-term deal.

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