Madson signed a one-year deal worth $8.5 million last offseason but missed the entire 2012 season after suffering a torn ligament in his right elbow that led to Tommy John surgery.
For turning down the option, Madson received a $2.5 million buyout from the Reds.
The 32-year-old was signed with the intention of being the Reds' closer for the year, but after he went down, the team eventually turned to Aroldis Chapman, who gave us one of the most memorable seasons ever by a relief pitcher.
Because of the numbers Chapman put up, it was apparent that Madson had no chance of being named the team's closer next season, so he decided to seek out a team who could use him in that position.
His 2011 campaign, which consisted of him saving 32 games in 34 opportunities while posting a 2.37 ERA, should help him find a home rather quickly.
Ryan Ludwick, on the other hand, played a lot this season—and played very well at that, as his huge second half helped propel the Reds to the NL Central crown.
On the year, he batted. 275 with 26 HR and 80 RBI.
Any team would absolutely love to have a player with the potential for those numbers in their lineup, and Ludwick realized that.
The 34-year-old declined his half of the mutual option even though Cincinnati expressed interest in bringing him back for next season. By doing that he received $500,000 and now has the opportunity to test the free-agent waters once again.
Earning $2 million in 2012, Ludwick could easily double, triple or even receive four times that amount and beyond thanks to his offensive showing. Even though the Reds got bounced in the NLDS, his .333 average and three homers in their five-game series against the Giants could potentially earn him some more money, as well.