Ryan Madson is the reliever that fans of the Philadelphia Phillies would like to see on the mound in the 8th. Will that become a reality in 2013?
I published after every battle that was not washed out. I had many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, which were especially important after drubbings and defeats. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Baseball-Fix Monday Schedule:
Events will dictate the number from 1 to 4 each for November and December. January to mid-February will be every other week, and it will be weekly after that until the season begins.
This article has been updated and republished because it was lost recently in the October ether.
Autumn Morsels To Chew On:
Rube Amaro has 10 raw hurlers that will need 2013 and 2014 to be ready for backend jobs. The outfield, like the bullpen, only needs one 2-season veteran, because that would provide the time for Darin Ruf and Dom Brown to blossom into regular contributors. The same is true of Phillippe Aumont and the others. So, a player–who is 37–would not be a problem, and the money would fit due to the age. In other words, the competition will be willing to pay more for a 28 year old, who will command a longer, more expensive contract.
There are several excellent candidates, and 2 of them were closing by necessity this campaign. That is a plus because they can fill in for Jonathan Papelbon. Rafael Betancourt was a hammer for the entire tour, and he saved 31 of 38 opportunities. Before that he has a history as a very successful 8th-inning set-up man. Grant Balfour locked down contests during the first 2 and last 2 months, protecting leads in 24 of 26 chances.
Brandon League lost his fireman’s role in Seattle, but they knew beforehand that a replacement was needed for ’13. League had 6 blown attempts out of 15 but shut down all 6 for the Dodgers. However, he will probably be offered a 9th-frame position elsewhere. Mike Adams has done it in spacious-park San Diego and the homer-friendly confines of the Rangers. However, after they re-sign Josh Hamilton, they may have to part with Adams or Koji Uehara, who has worked there also.
Free Agent Relievers:
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The other possibility is Madson, who probably won’t be returning to the Reds with Aroldis Chapman there. His agent, however, is Scott Boras and that may cloud things. Madson, 32, had a complicated deal with Cincinnati, where he was listed at $8.5M for 2012. However, that is broken down to $6M with a $2.5M buyout on an $11M mutual option for next summer. After he missed the entire season, the Reds will turn that down. Also, $4M of the $6M is deferred with $2M each due on 11/1/12 and 11/1/13. He earned $4.5M for the Phils in 2011.
The brain trust is interested in right-handers, because Antonio Bastardo can face left-side heavy lineups. He can also give Papelbon’s bridge an occasional rest as well. That stated, Amaro has only $16.5M to add and remain under the competitive-balance threshold of $178M. GM’s are usually reluctant to invest millions until the athlete proves he is healthy, but I’m sure Rube could be creative in this case.
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