Blue Jays interested in closer Madson: report
The Toronto Blue Jays have never made it a practice of negotiating with players represented by super agent Scott Boras, though that could change in the near future.
Seeking a closer after the bullpen blew 25 saves this past season, the team is inquiring about free agent Ryan Madson, fresh off 32 saves in his first year as the Philadelphia Phillies’ stopper, according to The Toronto Sun.
A few days ago, Madson appeared close to returning to the National League East champion Phillies on a four-year deal worth $44 million US — a vesting option that would have taken the contract to $57 million over five years — but it’s believed Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Boras that club president Dave Montgomery wouldn’t approve the deal.
On Friday, the Phillies reportedly agreed to a four-year, $50-million pact with one-time Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, pending a physical.
It’s believed it would take at least a four-year deal to lock up the 31-year-old Madson, who blew just two saves in 2011 after spending the previous three seasons as Brad Lidge’s setup man.
Madson appeared in 62 games, sporting a 2.37 earned-run average and 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings pitched.
In 491 games over nine seasons with Philadelphia including 18 starts, he had a 47-30 record, 3.59 ERA and 52 saves.
The Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins are among the other teams in the mix for Madson, SI.com reported Friday.
The Marlins also have made offers to free agents Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, team owner Jeffrey Loria said Friday.
Frank Francisco's second-half performance (1.37 ERA) as Blue Jays closer proved that he was capable of being an effective closer, CBCSports.ca blogger Kevin Glew wrote in a recent blog. But the burly right-hander is a Type-B free agent, and while the Jays will offer him arbitration, he's bound to bolt for a multi-year deal with another club.
Right-handers Jon Rauch and Shawn Camp are also Type-B free agents. Rauch, whose ERA ballooned to 4.85 last season, had his $3.75-million team option for 2012 declined by Toronto last month.