Red Sox, Phillies, Royals remain in on Ryan Madson

Joe Robbins

The Red Sox, Phillies, and Royals are all interested in Ryan Madson, but Boston doesn't seem a likely landing place for the one-time closer.

It's been about a month since we've heard news about Ryan Madson, but according to Ken Rosenthal the Red Sox are still keeping an eye on the one-time closer:

While it would be nice to have another talented arm available, the idea of signing Madson still seems far-fetched for the same reason it did back in December. After missing the last two years, Madson is not in a position to just step in and play an important role in the bullpen--any bullpen--without proving himself both healthy and effective again.

Given the opportunity, he may do just that, but opportunity is precisely the problem. Boston just doesn't provide much of one. Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and Edward Mujica already give the Red Sox an excellent core in the pen. If Andrew Miller proves undiminished after suffering an injury of his own last year, he too will have a spot on lock. Burke Badenhop is practically the forgotten man despite having produced a 3.25 ERA with an 84:24 K:BB over the past two years.

Even assuming that Madson jumps ahead of Boston's many minor league options, there's still no guarantee he gets much of a shot with the Sox. Where his role with another team might be as a middle reliever hoping to make his way back to closing, in Boston he's a depth option trying to make his way up to middle relief. What's more, he would have to prove himself in Fenway Park against the AL East. Hardly an enviable task.

Ultimately, the Red Sox have two things going for them: they are a World Series caliber team known for a positive clubhouse environment. Those are both big positives for free agents when choosing their destination, but not when future career earnings are so clearly on the line. Madson's fortune, if it exists, seems likely to lie elsewhere.

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