The Phillies insist they really wanted Ryan Madson back. They just couldn't come to an agreement with Madson and his agent Scott Boras. This, according to Phils GM Ruben Amaro, Jr.

Madson, of course, agreed to a one-year deal with Cincinnati Wednesday worth a reported $8.5 million. The signing is quite a heist for the Reds, as they get a guy who saved 32 games last season for the Phillies. The organization never seemed high on Madson being its permanent closer — Rich Dubee made an off-the-cuff remark about him during spring training — but reports were that the Phils offered Madson a four-year, $44 million deal in early November. Within days of that report, the team had signed Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal.

So, what happened?

"It's very simple," Boras told ESPN. "We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal. And Philadelphia decided upon hearing that to go in a different direction."

 

Hence Papelbon. But did the Phillies really have an agreement in place, Ruben?

"There's no question we had discussions with Ryan about bringing him back," Amaro told ESPN. "We had several discussions about it. But no agreement was made. If we had come to an agreement, we would have signed him."

Some might point at Madson's one-year deal as a missed opportunity, but Boras called it a "pillow contract." Which means he can pitch comfortable in Cincinnati next season, make a name for himself and then command big money the following year on the open market.

We're not sure who is telling the truth here, but it sure sounds like Boras made a power play and Amaro balked. As a result, his client got screwed in a crowded market for closers.

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