The Royals begin the new year by adding more bullpen depth, signing veteran reliever Ryan Madson to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The 34-year old right-hander has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011.
Madson has spent nine seasons in the big leagues, all with the Philadelphia Phillies, compiling a 3.59 ERA in 491 appearances, mostly in relief. His best season came in 2011, when he was named their closer. He collected 32 saves with a 2.37 ERA while striking out over a hitter per inning. A four-year $44 million deal fell through with the Phillies, and Madson instead signed a one-year deal with the Reds in 2012. In spring training with the Reds, Madson experienced elbow irritation, which led to Tommy John Surgery. Madson would miss all of 2012, and was only able to throw one minor league inning in 2013. He sat out the entire 2014 season, but has decided to try and make a comeback this year.
The financial terms of Madson's deal have not been disclosed, but most likely the Royals are on the hook for very little money unless Madson is healthy and able to produce. Madson will work to join a loaded Royals bullpen that already features Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Tim Collins, Luke Hochevar, Jason Frasor, and Louis Coleman.