UPDATE: Well, tickle my [behind] with a feather, the Phillies appear to have signed Ryan Madson to a three year extension worth (wait for it...) $12 million.
Likelihood that Scott Boras is happy with this: .0002%
WholeCamels' resemblance to pure Dingleberry: 99.2%
First baseman Ryan Howard and left-hander Cole Hamels will be the Phillies' biggest challenges in salary arbitration, but right-hander Ryan Madson will be no pushover. Madson, a free agent after next season, is represented by Scott Boras, and already has turned down a three-year, $12 million offer, according to a major-league source. After the Phillies won the World Series, Boras compared the combination of Madson and Brad Lidge to Mariano Rivera and John Wettleland ...
Well, there you have it. Scott Boras is going to sell Ryan Madson as Mariano Rivera. Yeah, forget age, past performance, etc. Nobody spins a yarn quite like Scott Boras. Madson is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season, and stands to become a very rich man.
Without a doubt, however, that three year/$12MM offer (if true) is pretty poor. It's a pretty weak starting point to any good faith salary negotiation, even if it's just a standard Phillies Way face-saving maneuver.
The question becomes whether the Phillies can (or should) commit closer money to Ryan Madson. If Madson has another strong season in 2009, he's going to command big bucks on the open market. Scott Boras likes to let his clients test the open market. Some team on the fringes of playoff contention will be able to offer Madson a big closer money contract in free agency. Frankly, Madson deserves that chance. Likewise, if Madson has another good season, it'll likely mean the Phillies are in playoff contention, and he'll be a useful piece as they make a run to repeat their title. Then, offer him salary arbitration, and take the draft picks if and when he signs elsewhere. There's no way the Phillies can give Madson closer money. So long Ryan, and thanks.
Should the Phillies find themselves hopelessly out of the race come July, there ought to be some nice offers for Madson's services from some contending teams.
On the whole, however, I have a very difficult time imagining Ryan Madson being a Phillie beyond 2009. Enjoy him while you can.