Madson will make a total of $22 million, good for a $7.3 million annual average value (AAV).
Madson becomes the second relief pitcher to sign Sunday morning, following Darren O'Day's return to the Orioles on a three-year contract. The market for bullpen pieces has begun to heat up going into the Winter Meetings in Nashville this week.
The Athletics have shown a need for bullpen pieces this offseason, already acquiring hard-throwing reliever Liam Hendriks from the Blue Jays. Their relief staff posted the third-highest ERA in baseball last season (4.63) and was worth the fourth-fewest fWAR (-0.1).
In 2015, the 35-year-old Madson pitched for the Kansas City Royals. He went 1-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 63 1/3 innings pitched, posting a 58 to 14 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
It has been quite a return for Madson, who was out of baseball for three years due to injuries. Before 2015, his last regular season appearance came with the Phillies on September 28, 2011.
While the Athletics have needed relief pitching, it is hard to see this deal paying off for them. Paying over $7 million per season for a relief pitcher's age 35-37 seasons just does not sound appealing to me. I prefer their acquisition of Hendriks to this deal.
Madson also received interest from the Dodgers this offseason.