Dodgers: Checking Back on the Trade for Ryan Madson

Last season, the Dodgers traded solid relief prospect Andrew Istler to the Washington Nationals for reliever Ryan Madson at the August non-waiver deadline.

The Trade

At the time of the acquisition, the Dodgers’ bullpen was shaky and Madson was brought in to hopefully help stabilize it. He was on the Dodgers’ World Series roster and he was unlucky for the club in the month of September.

In 8 1/3 regular season innings for the Dodgers, Madson posted a 6.48 ERA, but had a 1.96 FIP and 2.18 xFIP. Moreover, he struck out 13 batters in 9 games.

This was not nearly a move of the magnitude that was necessary to shore up the bullpen heading into the playoffs, but Andrew Friedman and co deemed him worthy of that playoff roster spot.

Madson appeared in 7 games and allowed 1 earned run in 6 1/3 innings between the NLDS against Atlanta, and the NLCS against Milwaukee. However in the World Series, he was heavily relied upon in key situations and unfortunately was unable to get the job done. While he allowed only 1 earned run across 4 games and 2 1/3 innings, he also allowed 7 of 7 inherited runners to score as the Dodgers eventually fell 4 games to 1 to the Boston Red Sox.

Madson has yet to throw a pitch in 2019 for any club. At age 38, it appears that his career is most likely over.

The Moving Parts

Andrew Istler

Istler, 26, was the Dodgers’ 23rd-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft and flashed decent potential as a future middle relief type.

Across all levels of the minors, Istler has a 3.45 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 211 1/3 innings. In 2019, Istler is at High-A Potomac and has allowed one run in 14 2/3 innings, racking up 23 strikeouts.


This was such a low-risk move for the Dodgers and did not demonstrate a true signature Friedman dumpster dive. Istler is a bit older at 26 years of age, but still has some decent potential to ride.

Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. Who is running this insane BP Roberts or the FO is BP is due for a wholesale fire sale no one save Baez and Jansen on certain nights can do anything spend the money get the final puzzle pieces a couple set up not these 35+ washed up journeymen Dodgers have a well stocked farm system Get someone they can make the deal with, No wonder Meada was torked last nite I would be too DR too quick on the hook to bring in the relievers even when the starters are pitching lights out he seems to think this BP is so much better than they are they are AAA pitchers pitching to MLB players

      1. You got that right. I think that JULIO URIAS
        is probably the best pitcher that the Dodgers
        have along with Hin Jun Riu
        As long as Friedman is running the organization, NO WAY THE DODGERS WIN A WORLD SERIES

  2. Ferguson comes to mind. He wasn’t all that great either. but they kept him, worked him now and then and he seems to have gotten better. Why didn’t they do that with Madson or any other so-called prospect? Any pitcher at any time can screw up now and then. Look at Joe Kelly. he was supposed to be one of the best and he faltered too. He’s getting back on track but will it be good enough in the playoffs?

  3. A thought on starting the returning injured. I’ve managed many ball games but I have never brought in a returning off the injured list player at full speed to play hot off the bedpan. And especially 3 or more at the same time! Yes, they rehabbed in the minor leagues but that’s what it is minor. Dodgers have other players that could have done better, bring them in easily a couple of innings here or there. Let them get the feel again.

  4. The Dodgers will be swept this weekend. We can not compete against the American League powerhouses.The current roster is constructed for the season,not the playoffs and World Series. Andrew F. has his work cut out for him by July 31.Will he let us down from winning a World Series. We’ve been waiting too long!

  5. You want a possible answer to this question? Unless Dodgers are willing to give up at least 2 top prospects and most likely other players, Freidman will have to dumpster dive. The result is that we won’t worry about what takes place in this year’s WS because the Dodgers will be home in October before then.

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