There are major moves afoot in bullpens in the National League Central.
The Reds have announced that they signed former Philadelphia closer Ryan Madson to a one-year, $8.5 million contract. Meanwhile, Kerry wood was rumored to be talking to Cincinnati about a bullpen role, seems to have been pushed back toward taking a one-year deal to suffer through the rebuilding process in Chicago.
Madson is a nice add for the Cubs, no doubt about it. But I don't know if he is a real game changer as far as the pennant race goes. $8.5 million is a big chunk of change for a closer on a small market team -- although his deal is much more favorable than the one that just expired for Francisco Cordero. While it makes the Reds better, I feel that the money might have been better invested in a big bat or a starting pitcher.
It's interesting that the Reds jumped on Madson, however, because it is basically a declaration that Cincy isn't willing to concede anything to the defending World Series champs. A one-year deal for a closer means nothing more than "we are trying to go for it all this season."
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And it makes sense as the Reds have to come to terms with the fact that Joey Votto might soon go the way of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.