According to Jerry Crasnick, the Blue Jays are turning their sights on building their bullpen, particularly eying relievers with experience in the closer's role like free agent Ryan Madson.
After J.A. Happ signing, #Bluejays ramping up search for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one guy on their list.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 29, 2015
Madson, a 35-year-old right hander, was the Phillies' closer in 2010 and 2011 and was expected to sign an extension with Philadelphia before they acquired Jonathan Papelbon. Madson underwent Tommy John surgery in spring 2012 and pitched just one inning between 2012 and 2015 after briefly announcing his retirement. The Royals scooped him up on a minor-league deal last offseason after a tryout where he demonstrated that he had worked his fastball velocity back up to his pre-injury levels. Madson made the roster and eventually became the World Series winner's late-inning set-up guy, pitching 63 effective innings recording a 2.13 ERA/3.09 FIP/3.32 xFIP and a career-best 0.963 WHIP on a tidy .249 BABIP. He struck out 23.4% and walked 5.7% of batters, both rates being slightly lower than his closing days in Philadelphia.
After taking a small contract last year, Madson has re-established his value and despite his age and injury history, will be looking at a multi-year contract to finish off his career. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that he will sign for three years at $15 million.
Madson's signing will give the Blue Jays another right-handed late-inning option in case they are considering moving one of Roberto Osuna or Aaron Sanchez back into the rotation.
Now let's watch my favourite Ryan Madson highlight of the season:
That game ended with us all being very disappointed but don't forget that Jose Bautista tied it up late in the game, and don't forget that it was Madson who gave it up.