Ryan Madson to Have Tommy John Surgery

The hits just keep on coming. Per Ken Rosenthal, Ryan Madson is the latest pitcher to need Tommy John surgery, and will be lost for the 2012 season. The falling dominos will push Sean Marshall into the closer’s role with the Reds, and Aroldis Chapman will move back to the bullpen to replace Marshall in the vacated lefty setup role.

Obviously, this is lousy news for both Madson and the Reds, and you can’t help but wonder how this might have changed the face of the National League race had things turned out differently this winter. Depending on who you believe, the Phillies were either considering or had already agreed to a four year, $44 million deal with Madson, but ended up going after Jonathan Papelbon instead. Had the Phillies finalized that deal with Madson instead of Papelbon, we might be talking about the Marlins or Braves as frontrunners for the NL East today.

Instead, this deals a significant blow to the Reds chances of taking the NL Central, and perhaps evens out yesterday’s news that the Cardinals have lost Chris Carpenter “indefinitely”. The Reds have enough talent to contend this year, but without Madson, their bullpen takes a significant hit. Cincinnati desperately needs Chapman to get back to his dominating 2010 form, rather than the inconsistent hurler he was last year.

I also wonder how this news will affect players willingness to bet on themselves by taking Scott Boras’ advice and going for a one year “pillow contract”. Madson took a one year deal to attempt to cash in big next winter, but this news is going to crush his potential for future earnings, and in reality, he may have missed his only chance to land a long term contract. It will be interesting to see whether players begin to decide that they’re better off taking the security of a multi-year deal when they have the chance, rather than deciding that they can do better in 12 months and betting on a one year deal.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Danny
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Danny

I feel really bad for Madson. That contract + this injury will probably end up costing him $20 million +.

colin
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colin

I feel as bad as you can for a pro athlete already scheduled to make 8 million this season. Millions of others are still topping him on my list of sob stories but yes I hear you on that.

MC
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MC

Yes the irony is that you should feel much sorrier for yourself than Ryan Madson (financially at least)

MC
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MC

I just forgot to add that from the Reds’ perspective-they look pretty foolish. A small market team that traded away most of their future and put all their eggs in 1 basket, at least closer-wise. Gosh when will teams get it? You don’t need a “closer”-just a bunch of pitchers with really, really good stuff.

Dekker
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Dekker

@MC

Signing one the best relievers in baseball for a 6.5 million salary and a buyout was a smart move. (He passed his physical too.) This is just a case of good move, bad outcome.

MC
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MC

@Dekker – I understand your point and I agree to a certain extent. However according to espn.com the Reds 2012 team salary will be $76M. 8M is more than 10% of their salary-for a closer. My point was only that if you’re a small market club, you have to think long-term always (in terms of not giving up prospects) and you have to stock up on players (depth) w/ low salaries because you simply do not have the resources to pay any 1 player as much as the big market clubs pay.

Now that is 10% of their payroll up in flames AND they don’t have a closer, it’s a double whammy. If you’re the Yankees, you don’t care because you can go buy another one. The Reds can’t, and they’ve sacrificed depth with the recent trades so they don’t have an obvious replacement.

I agree with you, it was a good deal, I’m just not sure it’s what the Reds should’ve done given their financial constraints, etc.

slamcactus
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slamcactus

Sean Marshall seems like a pretty obvious replacement to me. It hurts the Reds, but Madsen absolutely wasn’t a case of short term thinking at the expense of long-term planning. He didn’t block anyone. He didn’t cost them a draft pick. He fit their 2012 budget, and would not cost them a dollar for 2013 and beyond. It’s a big chunk of change to spend on a reliever, sure, but this is a team with a pretty complete roster that thought a good closer would make them that much more likely to make a deep playoff run. They’re the exact type of team who should be making 1-year deals like this for luxury, fill out the roster type players. If there was really a “put all your eggs in one basket” moment for the Reds this offseason, it was the Latos trade, not the Madsen signing.

I agree with the other poster above. Solid move, bad luck. Nothing more going on here, and the team should still be right there in the race for the NL Central division title.

Monroe
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And let’s not forget poor Scott Boras. He’ll be missing out on his 5% cut of the action. My heart bleeds for him.

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