According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the KC Royals have signed reliever Ryan Madson to a minor league deal with a big league spring training invite.
Madson grew into one of the National League’s best setup men and closers, but that was way back in 2011. He basically has not been heard from since.
Madson had spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies up until that point (eight seasons), where I grew to love him as both a player and a person (he truly is a good guy). He had a sizable deal in place following the 2011 season, but at the last minute, the Phillies pulled out and then signed Jonathon Papelbon.
Madson signed a lesser deal with Cincinnati (one year and $8.5 million), but never pitched for the Reds due to Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2012. He attempted a comeback with the LA Angels in 2013 ($3.5 million), but only pitched in a High-A rehab game for them. He sat out the entire 2014 season.
This is a low risk, high reward move for the Royals. Maybe Madson can come back and actually pitch. Maybe even pitch effectively and teach that filthy changeup to his new teammates. He would give the Royals a nice veteran option in the bullpen.
I’m just excited to see Madson actually pitching off a mound (fingers crossed).
UPDATE: Madson will receive $850,000 plus $150,000 in incentives for 2015.