This will mean virtually no difference for the Phillies, because Madson landed with the Reds. Since Madson was a Type A free agent who was offered salary arbitration, the Phillies previously would have gotten the Reds' first-round pick and a sandwich pick. However, the top 15 picks in the draft are protected. The Reds are selecting 14th, based on their 2011 record, so the Phillies would have gotten their second-round pick instead.
The other players in the free-agent exceptions are Heath Bell, Kelly Johnson, Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham.
The new CBA abolishes the system that relied on the "Type A" and "Type B" designations. Teams instead must make qualifying offers.
Madson reportedly agreed to a 1-year, $8.5 million deal, pending a physical and a signed contract. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that it could be some time before the move is officially announced, because the sides are working out incentives and an option year.
Madson made $5.1 million last season with the Phillies, when he appeared in 62 games out of the bullpen, was 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and saved 32 games. He struck out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings. But his 1-year deal is far less than he hoped to get on the free-agent market.
Madson could be a free agent again next offseason when the market for closers won't have such names as Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell, and multiple closers, including Andrew Bailey and Huston Street, presumably won't move in trades.
The Phillies and Madson's agent, Scott Boras, differed on whether there was an agreement on a 4-year, $44 million deal in December. The Phillies say no; Boras says yes. The Phillies ended up signing Papelbon for $50 million over 4 years.