Madson said he believes Phillies did make $44M offer, but he's "moved on''

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- New Reds closer Ryan Madson said he has "moved on'' from his sticky contractual situation from this winter, and by all appearances, he has. Yet, I had to ask. Does he believe the Phillies ever offered him $44 million for four years?

"Yeah, I do,'' Madson said. "I can't prove it. But I do believe it.''

The reason he believes it, he said, is that his agent Scott Boras has "been in the business for 20 years and it's never happened before.'' Madson also pointed out that Boras would have nothing to gain by concocting an offer that never happened.

Boras told him at the time the Phillies verbally made that offer, and Madson responded by telling Boras he accepted it. However, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro sent no paperwork and has publicly said he never made that $44-million offer. A day or two later, the Phillies wound up signing Jonathan Papelbon for $50 million over the same four years instead.

Since there was no paperwork on the alleged Phillies offer and acceptance involving Madson, it remains the most fascinating he said-he said of the winter.  Amaro and Madson spoke by phone after the deal -- whatever it was, fell through -- but Madson declined to get into that conversation.

That's because Madson has, as he said, moved on. Madson, who wound up signing for $8.5 million for 2012 with the Reds, said, "I'm actually glad I'm here. It's been a nice change so far. I'm really not looking back. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It is what it is. Everything happens for a reason. You can't make plans. Only one person can make plans.''

Madson doesn't seem the least bit distracted by what ifs or what might have beens. "There's a handful of theories,'' he said. "I never figured it out. But it became pretty obvious they wanted to go in a different direction. So i Just moved on to see who else was interested. Thankfully, the Reds came into the picture.''

Madson, who lives in Ladera Ranch, in Orange County, Calif., surely had an interest in the Angels, and for a time, there were suggestions they'd seek a veteran late-game reliever to go along with Jordan Walden, who had 11 blown saves as a rookie last year. But Madson believes teams have decided to take the luxury tax as something more stringent.

"There's a salary cap in baseball. It's supposed to be a luxury tax, but it's acting like a cap,'' Madson contended. "It affected me this year, and it will affect other players as they move into free agency. I agree with the policy, it just needs to be restructured.''

Madson, 31, is due to be a free agent again after the season. but in the meantime, he is concentrating on his one and enduring goal, which is to become the best reliever he can be. "It's a simple plan,'' Madson said.

That plan was interrupted early this spring by some elbow trouble. But Madson threw a bullpen session painfree Thursday and expects to pitch in a game this week. he expressed no doubt he will be ready to pitch with the team come Opening Day. That's something he said you can plan on, something more predictable than free agency.

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