The Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms with free agent reliever Ryan Madson for a three-year, $22 million deal, pending a physical, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The deal has also been confirmed by San Francisco Chronicle A's beat writer Susan Slusser. The A's have not yet officially confirmed.
In Madson, the A's get one of the top tier relievers on the free agent market not long after the Baltimore Orioles reportedly re-signed Darren O'Day to a four-year, $31 million deal (though O'Day says such reports are premature). Madson had a 2.13 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 14 walks, picking up where he seems to leave off after the first nine seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, ending in 2011.
Madson's signing comes with some risks, not the least of which is that Madson did not pitch pretty much at all from 2012-14. He underwent Tommy John surgery after tearing his elbow ligament shortly after signing with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012, and getting released from the Los Angeles Angels after suffering numerous setbacks in his recovery in 2013. Madson's comeback story is detailed in an outstanding profile by Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
What's encouraging though is that Madson actually threw his fastball harder as the season went on:
Hopefully what will come out in the next few hours as teams start to arrive for the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee is what other teams offered Madson. One interesting piece out of the Darren O'Day negotiations is that O'Day was swayed by Baltimore's willingness to offer a fourth year over a higher average annual value contract offer from the Washington Nationals (Dan O'Connolly, Baltimore Sun). Could something similar have happened for the A's against others, including the Dodgers?