Madson Packs Bags… Headed for Cincinnati

Reds, closer Madson agree on one-year deal

Cincinnati fills one of biggest needs in snagging free agent

Ryan Madson signing autographs before the Marc...

CINCINNATI — The Reds agreed to terms late Tuesday on a one-year, $10 million contract with free-agent closer Ryan Madson, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network had the initial report of a deal being reached. The Reds have not announced any agreement. A message was left with general manager Walt Jocketty.

Citing sources, Heyman reported earlier in the evening that talks between the two sides were heating up and in the serious stages. However, a source familiar with the situation downplayed the report to MLB.com, saying it was unlikely the Reds would get Madson unless his agent — Scott Boras — came well off the demand of a four-year, $44 million contract he had been reportedly been wanting.

And with this seeming to be a one-year deal for Madson, that certainly appears to be the case.

Francisco Cordero

Talks had been ongoing all winter with former Reds closer Francisco Cordero, who became a free agent after his $12 million club option was not exercised. Cincinnati had a one-year contract offer at an unknown figure on the table but could never reach an agreement with Cordero.

It looks as though the Reds turned their attention to the only other closer remaining on the market from a once-crowded field, though former Phillies closer Brad Lidge remains on the market.

Madson was believed close to re-signing with the Phillies earlier in the offseason before they signed Jonathan Papelbon. Last season, in his first full year as Philadelphia’s closer, the right-handed Madson was 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and 32 saves in 34 chances while making $4.8 million.

The addition of a new closer further underscores the pitching makeover Cincinnati has made this offseason in an effort to go for the National League Central title in 2012. Late last month, the Reds parted with several young players in two separate trades that brought in starting pitcher Mat Latos from the Padres and left-handed reliever Sean Marshall from the Cubs.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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