Originally posted on Three-Way Chili  |  Last updated 1/11/12

Hello, nasty!

The Cincinnati Reds continued their bold offseason by signing the top free-agent closer on the market – Ryan Madson – late Tuesday night.

And the Reds didn’t just land the best closer available, they got him at a relatively cheap rate. Multiple reports say that Madson inked a one-year contract that will pay him $8.5 million guaranteed, and gives him the potential to make an extra $1.5 million through incentives.

Hell, even if the Reds had given Madson $10M guaranteed it would have been a bargain, considering his former team – the Phillies – offered him a four-year, $44 million contract earlier this offseason. The Phillies ended up pulling the offer and inking Jonathan Papelbon instead.

Madson’s agent is Scott Boras, which made many Reds fans skeptical that Cincinnati would be able to afford the 31-year-old right-hander. However, general manager Walt Jocketty knew it was a buyer’s market and was rewarded for his patience in the end. In fact, there are MLB insiders like Keith Law who are calling the Madson signing “The best bargain of the offseason.” (I don’t usually like Law, but when he says something that fits my argument, I’ll selectively listen to him. Perhaps even quote him in a story.)

In 2011, his lone season as the Phillies’ full-time closer, the 6-foot-6 Madson had 32 saves, an ERA of 2.37 and a WHIP of 1.15. In 60.2 innings, he gave up 54 hits, had 62 strikeouts and walked just 16. (He also had a record of 4-2, which is basically a useless stat for closers. Aren’t you glad I made sure to include a useless stat?)

Therefore, the Reds have now signed the second-best free-agent closer of the offseason (presuming Papelbon is better), the best left-handed set-up man on the trade market in Sean Marshall, and the best starting pitcher on the trade market in Mat Latos.

That’s called “getting work done” and Jocketty gets huge kudos for the excellent offseason the team is experiencing.

However, it’s not over yet. The Reds still need to sign a fourth outfielder; someone to at least platoon with Chris Heisey in left. It will be a veteran on the cheap – such as Ryan Ludwick. It will be interesting to see what Jocketty ends up doing there.

He also needs to find a backup shortstop and his offseason work will be complete. And attracting a good SS shouldn’t be too difficult because whoever the Reds sign will have a chance to compete with rookie Zack Cozart for the starting job. Cozart is likely to open the season as the starter regardless (if he’s healthy, which he’s expected to be) but he’s an unproven commodity and a veteran backup is needed.

Nasty Boys II?

Check out how the Reds’ bullpen is shaping up for the 2012 season:

Closer: Ryan Madson.

Left-handed set-up: Sean Marshall.

Right-handed set-up: Nick Masset (although he’s no lock by any means; Logan Ondrusek is also someone to watch here).

Left-handed specialist (LOOGY): Bill Bray.

Right-hander: Logan Ondrusek.

Right-hander: Jose Arredondo.

Long reliever: Sam LeCure.

Wow. Did I mention I love the offseason the Reds are having? At this point, it will be shocking if they are not the preseason favorites to win the NL Central championship.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Penguins win Stanley Cup Final Game 1 despite going 37 minutes without a shot on goal

NHL won’t participate in 2018 Winter Olympics, cites hypocritical reason for not playing

NFLPA to rookies: Be like Gronkowski, Beckham Jr.

Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charges

Bryce Alford defends Lonzo Ball: He 'doesn't deserve' criticism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Clippers ‘overwhelming favorite’ to keep Chris Paul

Giants owner: Signing Kaepernick would anger fans

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

Report: ‘Multiple’ teams open to giving Nerlens Noel max contract

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker