Ryan Madson's pillow contract just turned into a bed of nails.
Madson needs Tommy John surgery and is out for the season. The Cincinnati Reds closer won't command a lucrative multiyear guarantee next winter. Instead, he will be rehabilitating his right elbow and likely sign a short, incentive-laden deal.
So much for the "pillow contract," a coin termed by Madson's agent, Scott Boras, to describe a contract that gives a free agent coming off a down season a soft, temporary landing before he goes back on the open market.
The concept worked brilliantly for Boras client Adrian Beltre, a third baseman who parlayed a brilliant season with the Boston Red Sox into a five-year, $80 million free-agent deal with the Texas Rangers. But the strategy is far riskier with pitchers, and Boras employed it three times last offseason, accepting one-year deals for Madson, Francisco Rodriguez and Edwin Jackson -- none of whom were coming off down seasons.
Jackson, a 28-year-old starting pitcher, stil...