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December 2011

Phillies Favorite Aside, Jonathan Papelbon is a Better Option than Ryan Madson

Posted by Frank Klose

Ryan_Madson_Brian_Schneider

For years, Ryan Madson was a fan favorite in Philadelphia.   He never hesitated to make sarcastic jokes to fans in the stands arriving early, and since when he first donned a #57 jersey back in 2003, he has been a fan favorite.  He was a world champion with teh Phillies in 2008.   However, with all things equal, for the best chance at a championship, the clear favorite is not Ryan Madson, but Jonathan Papelbon.

How effective was Ryan Madson as a closer? How quickly we forget. 

In 2009, Madson's first extended opportunity as a closer, he tallied 10 saves.  However, Madson did blow six save opportunities.  (Granted, some may have been as a setup man, but he's pitching an important inning either way).

To open 2010 Ryan Madson had his first long-term chance to be the Phillies closer.   It took Madson a whole four weeks to blow two saves in six opportunities and break his toe kicking a chair in the San Francisco dugout.

Speaking of San Francisco, let's not forget Madson lost the 2010 elimination game for the Phillies, giving up a crucial home run to Cody Ross with the game tied.

In Spring Training 2011, Brad Lidge succumbed to his annual injury and disabled list stint to start the season.  However, the Phillies did not trust Madson enough to become closer.   It took an injury to Jose Contreras to be given another opportunity to close, for a lack of better options.

Madson was indeed stellar the rest of 2011, earning 32 saves between late April and September.   However, is that enough to earn a four-year, big-dollar contract with the Phillies to be the closer?  If you are spending big dollars and committing four years to a closer, Papelbon is a much better bet.

It may seem like Papelbon has had a much longer career than Madson, but Papelbon is actually three months younger than Madson.  

Think Papelbon has more wear on his body?  Madson has thrown 200 2/3 more innings than Papelbon in 95 more games.

And while Madson spent time trying to find his niche in the major leagues, Papelbon was a closer from his second season on forward.  Papelbon has 219 career saves pitching in the tough AL East, while Madson has 52.   

Granted, Papelbon had a rough stretch in 2010, but finished with 37 saves and a 3.90 ERA anyway. I already saw one fan point to his 13.50 ERA in the 2009 postseason, but he gave up three runs in one game, and pitched a scoreless game otherwise.  It is not enough to raise a flag.

The potential numbers posted for Ryan Madson were four years and $44 million, or $11 million per season.  It appears that Jonathan Papelbon will earn $12.5 million or so per season.   This is what it is going to cost the Phillies for a top-closer this offseason.   If they are going to have to go a full mile, they might as well go the extra 100 yards and get the better option.

Personally, I have a hunch that Scott Boras screwed up the chances for a Phillies and Madson extended-marriage.  I find it suspicious that reports circulated with the four-year, $44 million number.  Could Boras have floated that out there in hopes another team would jump in and offer more to drive up the price for the Phillies?   He has been known to play teams against one another before.

Even if that is the case, Ryan Madson and agent Scott Boras wanted this to go to free agency.  Madson did not do so in 2009, agreeing to two-years beyond his final arbitration year.   The Phillies had an exclusive negotation window after the season to negotiate with Madson, and could have worked out a deal with him then.

Once Ryan Madson was a free agent and all things were equal, Jonathan Papelbon was the better option.


Mad Dog Out: Phillies Sign Veteran Closer Jonathan Papelbon

By: Stephen Gallo ( @GalloSays )

 Jonathan-papelbon2
via speculativesports.com

According to multiple sources, the Phillies have agreed to a contract with former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. The details are said to be for four guaranteed years and worth $50 million. There is apparently also a fifth year vesting option as well.

Long time fans will be sad that this marks the end of the Ryan Madson era, as we watched him rise through the Phillies minor league system and become an elite closer in 2011. When it all came down to resigning him, however, the two sides could not meet. It isn't hard to see why, as Madson's agent is the always pleasant Scott Boras.

I think signing Papelbon is a good move for the Phils. Although I would have favored keeping Madson around, the Phillies now have one of the elite, reliable closers in the game who can shut the door on Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee victories.

Fans will probably hate the move at first, since we don't exactly get along with the Red Sox. As I pointed out and have noticed others say on Twitter, he has a very annoying and punch-able face. That being said, he's ours now.

Once he hits the field and starts closing games for us, I'm sure fans will become big supporters of Papelbon and his personality. Time will tell whether I'm right or wrong.

Somewhere, Sarah Madson is celebrating.


No Surprise Here: Ticket Prices Will Rise in 2012

By: Stephen Gallo

7964598_600x338
courtesy abc.com

In what should come as a surprise to no one, the Phillies are raising ticket prices again. According to philly.com , the Phillies will raise prices in most areas of the ballpark, but not all.

"Tickets in the Hall of Fame club and infield will go up by $5; the best seats along the baselines are up by $3; and other areas will see an increase of $1 or $2. Prices in a portion of Citizens Bank Park will remain unchanged.

Seats will cost from $16 to $65 per game"

While the surprise isn't there, this definitely leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some due to the underachieving of the 2011 club. However, I'll pay the increase as I know that if I don't want to keep my season tickets, then there's a waiting list of people who would gladly take them over.

With the overall success of the franchise in recent years and the continued string of game sell outs over 200, it's difficult to imagine a season passing where the ticket prices don't climb. It has to end eventually, right?


**Update: Not A Done Deal** Here To Stay: Ryan Madson Signs New Deal With The Phillies

By: Stephen Gallo

Philadelphia-RyanMadson226

photo courtesysportsbully.com

That's the face of a man with a nice, new contract.

According to multiple sources, Phillies closer Ryan Madson has agreed to a new contract with the home town team. The deal is for four years guaranteed at $11 million per year. There is also a fifth year option worth $13 million.

If you ask me, the Phillies got a steal with this contract. A quality closer is usually paid more in the $12 - $15 million dollar range. Just for reference, Mariano Rivera made $15 million last year (I know, I know, he's head and shoulders above everyone else and deserves it). Also, Brad Lidge was making $12.5 million dollars. Getting Madson, who is 31 years old, at just $11 million per year is especially surprising due to the fact that super sports agent Scott Boras represents him.

Poor Sarah Madson has to put up with Phillies fans for at least four more years. Sorry about that.

*Update - Wednesday 11/9, 9:30am*

It looks like our sources jumped the gun yesterday and the deal for Ryan Madson is not official as of yet. According to SI's Jon Heyman, the deal is still awaiting approval from Phillies general partner David Montgomery. We'll update you as soon as it's a done deal. Should things fall through, the Phillies are rumored to also be interested in free agent closer Jonathan Papelbon.


Philadelphia Phillies Updates: Madson,Yoenis Cespedes, Ryne Sandberg

Posted by Christina Angelos

Here are few updates on the free agency or trades for the Philadelphia Phillies:

As you may know Ryan Madson is a free agent and is drawing lots of interest from the Red Sox, Phillies, Nationals, Rangers and Marlins are believed to be interested. There are strong indications that the Phillies are making a strong push to re-sign Ryan Madson. Ken Rosenthal hears that the Phillies are working hard to complete a deal, but the Phillies hasn’t yet to rule out other free agents such as Bell or Papelbon. "It's no secret I need a closer," Amaro told Rosenthal. "I am talking to everyone.” However, talks are "advancing, but not complete," a source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Agent Scott Boras told Crasnick that the sides are still exchanging proposals. If Ryan Madson re-signs with the Phillies, they will not lose a draft pick. Update: SI Jon Heyman says Ryan Madson and Phillies are exchanging proposals moving foward. He also said the Phillies had talks with Papelbon and are determined to sign either Pap or Madson.

Soon-to-be free agent, Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is drawing interest from several teams including Phillies, Nationals, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Marlins. As right now, I don’t believe this rumor of trading Shane Victorino to the Indians or whomever, but I do believe if the Phillies try to acquire him. This will help the Phillies get younger. I really like the sound of Brown(24)-Cespedes(26)-Pence(28) if the Phillies are really listening to offers. I am not saying this could go down, just putting this out there. And if Shane Victorino is traded, I would believe that it could be for a young shortstop. As of right now, the Marlins are the favorites (really stealing big time players as they have Reyes, Pujols and Fielder on their radar). Anything can happen. 

Also, look for the Phillies to promote Ryne Sandberg to bench coach if Pete Mackanin is named manager of either the Cubs or Red Sox. If that happens, the Phillies will need a Triple A to replace Sandberg — and former Cubs manager Mike Quade would be one possibility says Ken Rosenthal.


Dust Off Your Jerseys: Phillies Re-Sign Jim Thome to a One-Year Deal

Posted by Frank Klose

Jim_Thome_600_Twins

No... this can't be right, is it?

Todd Zolecki reports that former Phillies 1B Jim Thome has signed a one-year contract to play for the Phillies.

Wow.  

You can buy a brand new Jim Thome Jersey here.

Thome probably can't play first base for the injured Ryan Howard, but he can be the left-handed pinch hitter that Ross Gload was (who also could not play a position).

I'm speechless.


Phillies Give Permission to the Cardinals to Interview Ryne Sandberg

Posted by Christina Angelos

 

Let’s begin the Sandberg speculation of where in the world will he be in 2012!

Ryne Sandberg is still under contract with the Phillies, even though he only signed a year deal to manage the Phillies Triple A team, IronPigs. The Phillies have mentioned they want to bring him back in 2012 after a great season with their first postseason appearance. Yes, he did very well in managing a Triple A team. And the Phillies will not stand in his way if he gets a possible promotion as a major league manager.

After firing Mike Quade, Theo Epstein doesn’t want a manager who doesn’t have major league experience. I guess we can rule out Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs. However, the Cardinals (YES, the one that LaRussa managed with all the pitching changes) asked the Phillies permission to interview him.  And it was granted. Maybe Sandberg to the Cardinals.  Or maybe he stays with the Phillies if current bench coach Pete Mackanin goes to the Boston Red Sox.

Drama is only about to begin in Philadelphia! Stay tuned!


Placido Polanco Wins Gold Glove

Posted by Christina Angelos

  PlacidoPolanco     (Courtesy of daylife.com)

 

Placido Polanco won a Gold Glove tonight. Congratulations! 

Placido Polanco is just the second player in baseball history to win Gold Gloves at two different positions. He won twice as a second baseman with Detroit Tigers in 2007 and 2009 before winning as a third baseman this year with the Phillies. The other player is Darin Erstad, who won as an outfielder with the Angels in 2000 and 2002 before winning at first base in 2004. Also, Polanco is the first player in baseball history to win Gold Gloves at two different infield positions.

Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz were finalists, but lost to Matt Kemp of the Dodgers and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals. 

Here is the list of winners in both leagues (incase you wanna know):

American League
P: Mark Buehrle, CHW
C: Matt Wieters, BAL
1B: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
2B: Dustin Pedroia, BOS
SS: Erick Aybar, LAA
3B: Adrian Beltre, TEX
LF: Alex Gordon, KC
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS
RF: Nick Markakis, BAL

National League
P: Clayton Kershaw, LAD
C: Yadier Molina, STL
1B: Joey Votto, CIN
2B: Brandon Phillips, CIN
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, COL
3B: Placido Polanco, PHI
LF: Gerardo Parra, ARI
CF: Matt Kemp, LAD
RF: Andre Ethier, LAD