Seeking closer job, Madson leaving Philly

Seeking closer job, Madson leaving Philly

Seeking closer job, Madson leaving Philly
DALLAS -- Ryan Madson wants to be a closer, so he declined salary arbitration from the Phillies before Wednesday's deadline.

The move means Madson is headed elsewhere, which means Philadelphia will receive two Draft picks as compensation once he signs with another team. If Madson had accepted salary arbitration, he essentially would have been signed to a one-year contract with the Phils, but would have been a setup man for closer Jonathan Papelbon.

That would have hurt Madson's earning potential once he became a free agent again next offseason.

"Ryan was never [going to accept]," said Scott Boras, who is Madson's agent. "He's remaining a free agent here."

Last month there had been reports the Phillies and Madson were close to a four-year, $44 million contract. Philadelphia signed Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal instead. It is hard to imagine Madson finding that kind of a deal now with most teams already filling their closer roles, but Boras has worked magic before.

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"Ryan Madson is a closer that ... has performed in a large market, performed in the playoffs, performed at high levels, one of the few closers at that age [31] and has the combination of a 95-mph fastball and a changeup," Boras said here at the Winter Meetings. "I think we've seen a lot of teams that have dismissed the expenditure required to sign a player of that caliber. Much like the starting-pitching market, we haven't seen a lot of activity in that until maybe today. I think we'll just have to wait in time to see how that filters out."

Madson went 47-30 with a 3.59 ERA and 52 saves in 491 appearances in nine seasons with the Phillies. He went 4-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 32 saves in 34 opportunities in his first season as a full-time closer in 2011.

Because Madson is a Type A free agent, Philadelphia will receive the signing team's top Draft pick, plus a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

As expected, Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez also declined their salary-arbitration offers from the Phils.

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