Saying good bye to Ryan Madson was hard. Or at least, fast. It kind of happened too quickly to really get upset about it. And the next thing we knew, hey! It’s Jonathan Papelbon! That’s okay, I guess. Hmmm.
And then Ryan just kind of sat there in a closer-rich free agent market, wondering what was to become of him.
“Trust me,” said a brooding Scott Boras, carefully loading a pistol one chamber at a time. “Just trust me.”
Eventually, Ryan got a job in the Reds’ bullpen. Sure, he could have taken a demotion and joined back up with the Phillies in the set-up role; the one he left behind to dominate as a closer in 2011. But why would he do that? Because we asked him really nicely? Maybe… maybe we should have tried that.
But Ruben Amaro was in no mood for games when the wheeling and dealing began, and now Ryan will be wearing red next season. But not our red. The Reds’ red. It’s probably different in some way.
Even though we lost our homegrown, highly talented closer to the fun of free agency, we do get to see a return on his deal with Cincinnati: Two draft picks! Draft picks are what Ruben Amaro uses to fill the farm system, or as he refers to it, “Trade Chip Factory.” It is, at the moment, not flush with eye-popping talent. So, while neither of the picks that we get from Ryan signing with the Reds are in the first round, they are still, in fact, picks.
One is a “sandwich” pick, which does not mean the Phillies get to choose which sandwiches they get to eat during the draft. It means it comes between the first and second round, somehow, like a pick that doesn’t really exist and just drifts through limbo, wondering why no one can see or feel it. The other is in the second round, giving us numbers 38 and 72, respectively.
Someday, we may look back on this deal as the one that allowed us to draft some Hall of Fame player who lasted until the 72nd pick for some reason. Perhaps in his biography, the writer will discuss the details of Ryan Madson’s situation and how it led into the greatest draft pick in Philadelphia Phillies history.
Nah, it’ll probably just be a pitcher from the suburbs or some kind of thing.