Oakland Athletics signed Ryan Madson to a three year, $22 million deal on December 6, 2015
After a disastrous 2015 season, the Oakland Athletics revamped their bullpen. They added numerous new arms including veteran reliever Ryan Madson. Despite not pitching in the big leagues from 2012-2014 due to complications after undergoing Tommy John surgery, he came back last season with the Kansas City Royals and impressed everyone.
While with the Royals in 2015, Madson maintained a 2.13 ERA and 0.963 WHIP over 63.1 relief innings pitched. Additionally, he had 58 strikeouts and only allowed five home runs. Lastly, during the regular season, Madson had the second lowest ERA among Royals’ relievers and led the team in strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 4.14.
Madson is priming himself for an All Star season this year. So far this spring, he has not allowed a hit – giving him a 0.00 ERA. Madson has also demonstrated consistency and reliability, which is something the A’s bullpen did not have in 2015.
Many thought Madson’s career was over when he announced his retirement in 2014, but Madson is proving that he is going to make a terrific comeback at 35 years old. Even though most are still not threatened by Madson’s talent because of his age and lack of success in the early 2010s, it is clear that the success he demonstrated in 2015 will continue during the 2016 season.
Madson will become the backbone of the Oakland Athletics’ bullpen. Even though everyone will look to closer Sean Doolittle to save games, Madson will be that silent hero this upcoming season. He will not only pitch well consistently, but he will also be that veteran presence in the bullpen who will provide the younger relief pitchers with tips and insights on how to be a successful big league reliever. Because of Madson, the bullpen will become a highlight of the 2016 season for the Oakland Athletics.
Even though the A’s have made some missteps when it comes to signing veteran players – Jim Johnson and Billy Butler to name a few, they did not make this same mistake with Madson. Madson is the real deal and, as long as he stays healthy, fans will see Madson set up for Doolittle on a regular basis this upcoming season. If he builds on the success he found in 2015, it would not be surprising to see Madson on the American League All Star roster this July.