The free agent market for closers and late-inning relievers is expected to be a competitive one, and if early reports are any indication, it's going to be an expensive one too.
According to multiple reports, the Philadelphia Phillies are getting close to a four-year contract with closer Ryan Madson.
Yahoo!'s Tim Brown reports that the deal is likely to be worth $44 million with an option for a fifth year at $13 million. The framework of a potential four-year deal was first reported by MLB Network's Jim Duquette.
Madson recorded 32 saves in his first full season as Phillies closer in 2011.
Madson's deal will open up a free-agent season for closers in which some of the game's best are on the market. If Madson does sign a four-year deal worth $44 million with the Phillies, it will certainly mean hefty raises are in store for fellow free agents Heath Bell and Jonathan Papelbon, among others.
The Phillies were reportedly eyeing Papelbon and Madson, but any interest in Papelbon is likely all but gone should they officially sign Madson.