The pact also includes an invitation to major-league spring training camp and gives Madson – attempting a comeback after missing the last three seasons – a chance to earn a job in the bullpen of the defending American League Champions.
Madson, 34, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since the end of the 2011 season when he usurped Brad Lidge for the closer role in Philadelphia and went on to post a 2.37 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, 32 saves, and a 62/16 K/BB ratio in 60.2 innings.
Prior to that, he’d had a very successful run as a reliever and setup man for the Phillies. From 2003 to 2011 he posted a cumulative 3.04 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 52 saves, 113 Holds, and a 486/153 K/BB ratio in 539 innings of relief work.
Following his breakout campaign in 2011 there was some contentiousness after a rumored four-year, $44 million deal between Madson and the Phillies fell through due to issues between general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and Madson’s agent Scott Boras.
Once the deal reportedly fell through, the club signed its current closer, Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal instead.
Rebuffed by Philadelphia, Madson signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds, but never pitched for the club after tearing a ligament in his arm during Spring Training and undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The Reds declined his option and he hit the market again, this time signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He began the year on the disabled list, still recovering from Tommy John surgery, and never appeared for the club. He was released at the end of the 2013 season.
Madson did not pitch in 2014 and was believed to have been retired.
The deal with the Royals gives Madson a second chance and a very good situation to succeed. Kansas City has one of the game’s best bullpens, so Madson can be used in low leverage situations until he regains his form and confidence.
The man known as “Mad Dog” had his career fall apart just when it should have been taking off, so here’s wishing him nothing but success in what figures to be a last-ditch effort to continue his career.