Update [2008-1-18 23:55:21 by dajafi]: As you've probably heard by now, the Phillies and Ryan Howard exchanged arbitration figures Friday, and the sides aren't close: the Phils offered $7 million, and Howard wants $10 million. Feel free to join the discussion in the comments.
The Phillies reached one-year agreements today with relief pitchers Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson, avoiding arbitration with both. Lidge, the closer acquired from Houston early in the offseason, will earn $6.35 million in his final season before free agency. Madson, whose strong 2007 season was cut short by injuries, signed for $1.4 million.
Both deals strike me as reasonable. Lidge, who made $5.3 million in 2007, had an up-and-down season for the Astros, but will be a bargain if he performs up to his talent in the closer role. Madson likely would have been in line for a considerably larger raise from the $1.1 million he pulled down in 2007 were it not for the two-plus months he spent on the disabled list.
Ryan Howard and Eric Bruntlett are the Phils' remaining arbitration-eligible players. A couple weeks back we examined the question of whether the Phils should try to make a long-term deal with Howard. He's expected to make at least $7 million for 2008.