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Phillies Sign Madson to Three-Year Extension

The World Series champion Phillies have as many key stars heading into full-blown arbitration as any team, but they took care of one of them this morning, signing reliever Ryan Madson to a three-year deal. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jim Salisbury, the deal is worth $12 million with incentives that could drive it significantly higher.

So why is the Madson deal significant? Well, for one, it proves that the Phillies will splash some cash to get out of arbitration. Don't hold your breath waiting for a Ryan Howard extension, but the deals are out there to be made.

Yet even more significant might be the man who represents Madson. That, of course, would be one Scott Boras. The uber-agent almost never takes deals before a player can reach free agency, and Madson was a single-season from the free agent market. So, is this a sign that Boras will start re-calibrating his negotiating methods? A kinder, softer Scott Boras? Don't hold your breath. Still, it's possible that, like Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees last year, Madson wanted to be in Philadelphia so badly that Boras threw up his hands and said "Go ahead," or -- and this is probably a more likely scenario -- he looked a decent deal, considered the market, and said, "This might be as good as we're going to get."

Both of those options sound awfully strange from Scott Boras, don't they? Regardless of motivation, the extension happened, and it could play a significant role in stabilizing Philadelphia's bullpen in the coming years.

By Cameron Smith  |  January 19, 2009; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  Phillies  
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Boras may have miscalculated the market for a number of FAs this year. You can question whether he honestly thought Lowe could get a 5 year, $90 million contract adn really was shooting for the 4 year, $60m contract he ended up getting, but he plainly blew it turngin down arbitration for Varitek and may be hard-pressed to top the offer he first got from the Dodgers for Manny. As for his other clients, there does not seem to be a land rush. Even Teixeira probably thought he could beat $22.5 for 8 when he filed. $12m over 3 years is probably as good a contract as any middle reliever is going to get. Look at Juan Cruz, Joe Beimel, etc...

Boras maxed Madson's value. Perhaps it was Madson more than Boras who understood the market.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 19, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

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