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Philadelphia Phillies consider Ryan Madson's late Christmas gift

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Pursuing does not mean sure to sign. But, the Philadelphia Phillies are believed to be interested in a reunion with former elite set-up man Ryan Madson.

'Mad Dog', currently a free agent, developed into one of the game's elite middle-inning's men during his days (2003-2011) in red pinstripes. His vital role during the Phillies playoff years (2007-2011) can't be understated.

Madson chose to leave the team two years ago. First, he signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds in January 2012. Then, he inked a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels in November 2012. But, he didn't actually pitch for either team.

Serious elbow issues prevented him from throwing one pitch during the past two regular seasons. However, the 33-year-old right-hander is apparently healthy and ready to prove himself to willing suitors. The Phillies and a number of other teams will apparently watch him throw next month in a quasi-tryout.

Jonathan Papelbon's somewhat shaky 2013 season and a general lack of experienced arms in Bob McClure's bullpen make a reunion with Madson appealing. However, a realistic health projection will obviously be the most important issue that Ruben Amaro, Jr. and his staff will consider after the calendar turns.

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