Wednesday, 11 January 2012
As was reported to be the rumor yesterday, Ryan Madson has signed a 1-year deal worth $8.5MM with the Cincinnati Reds. This is a far cry from the reported 4/$44MM that he was rumored to have agreed to with the Phillies earlier on this offseason before they turned their attention to Jonathan Papelbon, but it will give him a chance to establish himself as a legitimate "closer", and maybe find a suitor to give him something close to that 4/44 next offseason. Of course, he'll be a year older at the time, and doesn't really appear to be as good as Jonathan Papelbon by any stretch of the imagination in terms of WAR, ERA/FIP/xFIP, or pitcher slash (K,BB and HR/9), but he's obviously still pretty useful, and I'm sure Papelbon's deal will be used as somewhat of a guideline once that market establishes itself next year. Let's not forget either, that if the Reds don't want Madson back next year, he'll almost surely be offered a 1 year, $12.5MM qualifying offer, which he is quite likely to reject in search of a multi-year deal, making him like a Type-A free agent, netting two draft picks for the Reds in the 2013 draft.
It would appear that the Reds are ready to go for it this year (and presumably next) with the acquisition of Mat Latos, the Madson signing, and the possible upcoming free agency of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. I'm curious as to whether Walt Jocketty is done yet or not, but it doesn't really matter a whole lot, I suppose. The Reds and Cardinals are now head and shoulders above the rest in the NL Central, and this is probably a good time to do so, with the Astros moving to the AL after this season, which will make the NL Central at least a little bit tougher, considering each team will be losing about 18 games against a AAA team from their schedule.
The Reds really need to do something about the back-end of their rotation if they really want to be the solidified favorites, however. Bronson Arroyo is such a pile of steaming, stinking, steaming stinking garbage that they can't really afford to let him throw too many innings, especially as a starter. I have read reports that say Aroldis Chapman will be in the rotation, which is obviously a massive improvement, but I'm not sure what kind of innings boost they'll allow, or how durable/reliable he'll be in his first year of starting in the MLB. Someone has gone ahead and compiled all the fangraph's projections for both the Cards and the Reds here, but obviously we can't rely too much on these numbers, especially since they're assuming that Chapman and Arroyo get equal playing time (same with Jay/Craig/Beltran splitting CF and RF duties). Those projections, added together and compared, make the Reds a 6 win favorite in the NL Central as of right now, but I have a hard time buying that, but the Reds shouldn't be too far away, especially considering the loss of Pujols for the Cards, the loss of Braun (and probably Fielder) for Milwaukee, and the fact that the Reds should have been better last year.
Nothing to do with baseball, but rather Breaking Bad -- Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Gustavo Fring on the show, did a nice big AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit yesterday or the day before or something, and has included a bunch of video responses to any of the questions that would have taken too long to answer in writing. Really good read if you're in to that show. And if you're not in to that show, fuck you.
As for baseball stuff, Pedro Martinez did an interview with WEEI, which is a Boston tv station, I think. Martinez is, of course, the best pitcher that I have ever seen, and has the most absurd 6/7 year peak (ages 25-31) of anybody in recent memory. In the steroid era, no less.
The Playoff expansion (i.e. second wild card) is likely to be instituted this season, and not next, according to Jon Heyman. Bud Selig is in favor of it, and has just been extended for two more years and commissioner of the MLB, so the other owners are more than likely going to follow suit.