I'm going to be honest: I find the idea that the St. Louis Cardinals would spend closer money on Ryan Madson—who nearly signed an enormous deal with the Philadelphia Phillies to open free agency and has seen his stock fall ever since—only a little less plausible than that bizarre rumor about the Cardinals signing Roy Oswalt as a reliever. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe sees it differently, suggesting St. Louis could take this opportunity to upgrade their bullpen with Madson's price in decline.
It's true that Madson would represent a not-insignificant bullpen upgrade for the Cardinals—he'd soak up innings that are currently going to the inconsistent Mitchell Boggs and the replacement-level-ish Kyle McClellan.
But Jason Motte secured his reputation as a relief ace with his postseason performance, and the Cardinals, anyway, have reached the point in their post-Pujols offseason hunt where most of the easily upgradable spots on the roster—the middle infield, the space in the outfield between Jon Jay, Allen Craig, and Lance Berkman—have been filled by solid, expensive veterans. It seems unlike general manager John Mozeliak to sign still another one, unless Madson's value has fallen so far, so fast that he could be had for one guaranteed season.