Phils agree with Alfonseca, Madson

Phils agree with Alfonseca, Madson

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Madson avoided arbitration on Sunday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Phillies, leaving the club with four arbitration-eligible players.

Madson wasn't the only reliever to agree to a contract, as veteran reliever Antonio Alfonseca also accepted a one-year deal that could be worth up to $1.1 million, according to a Major League baseball source. The Phillies will announce the deal once the pitcher passes a physical.

Alfonseca was limited to 52 games over the past two seasons with the Rangers and Marlins. He was shut down in 2006 because of a sore right elbow. He compiled a 2.57 ERA in 79 games with Atlanta in 2004, his last full season.

Madson, 26, went 11-9 with two saves and a 5.69 ERA in 50 games, including 17 starts, in 2006. He finished second on the team in wins, third in innings pitched (134 1/3) and fourth in strikeouts (99), establishing career highs in all of those categories. As a reliever, Madson went 3-4 with a 4.50 ERA.

After shuttling between the bullpen and rotation last season, the right-hander is expected to exclusively be used as a reliever in 2007, and should serve in a late-inning role.

Originally selected by the Phillies in the ninth round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, Madson has spent his entire career with the Phillies, going 26-17 with three saves and a 4.35 ERA in 181 games.

The remaining four arbitration-eligible players are Geoff Geary, Brett Myers, Aaron Rowand and Chase Utley. Of that group, the team is considering a long-term deal with Utley that would essentially buy out his three arbitration years -- thus eliminating the yearly filing -- and perhaps delay his filing for free agency by a year or two.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.