Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Jayson Werth is attempting to “sell” the Nationals to soon-to-be free agent closer Ryan Madson. It’s unknown whether or not the Phillies will be able to retain Madson, who will likely look for a closer-type contract, pushing $10 million or more. Madson is also a Scott Boras client, meaning he’ll try and push the price as high as he can.
(In that same article, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres have offered Heath Bell a two-year deal worth $15-16 million)
Madson to Washington is an intriguing thought. They are trying to become the Phillies in more than one way. The pitching isn’t quite there, but they are attempting to build a solid offense with good homegrown talent combined with some free agents. Werth didn’t work out in Year 1 of his megadeal, but it can’t get any worse for him.
Next up for the Nats is solidifying their pitching. The bullpen has the making of a solid unit, and if you throw Madson in there, it would be one of the best. But does he fit?
They actually wouldn’t need Madson, per se, with Drew Storen as a closer himself. Storen saved 43 games in 2011, posting a 1.02 WHIP and a strikeout per inning. Making him the eighth inning guy would undoubtedly make the Nats ‘pen strong. Madson doesn’t seem to want to settle for eighth inning duty; he’s now a closer and not looking back. So, it’s hard to see that being a perfect match.
Still, it’s interesting nonetheless; it’s also apparent the Nationals are looking to spend money, so look out for them in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, and if Jayson Werth has his way, the bidding for Madson.