The Cincinnati Reds are in the market for a closer again. Last year, the team signed Ryan Madson to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2013.
Madson never pitched a game for the Reds due to a torn ligament in his elbow which required season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Management turned first to Sean Marshall, who floundered in the role, then to Aroldis Chapman who took off and became one of the most dominant closers in baseball.
The team now finds themselves in the exact same situation that they were in during the 2011-12 offseason.
Rumors have GM Walt Jocketty and crew looking to Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria and midseason acquisition Jonathan Broxton as possible options for the now-vacant closers role.
Jocketty's desire to convert Aroldis Chapman to a starter has created a firestorm of publicity around the team, but who among these three options is the best fit for the Reds?
Let's begin with a blind comparison followed by an aggregate measure of the three pitchers' careers.
Player A wins a larger percentage of games than any other player, but he ranks last in seven of the 11 categories. His career ERA of 3.59 looks to be fairly accurate given his 3.45 SIERA value.
Player B has the best all-around metrics of the three pitchers. He may have the lowest win/loss percentage of the three, but his superior ERA, SIERA, SV-percentage, WHIP, BB/9 and K/BB make him the best of the three pitchers.
Player C is clearly the second best option. His 2.80 SIERA indicates that his career 3.10 ERA is somewhat inflated. Additionally, Player C's K/9 and GB/FB ratios are numbers that are crucial to success when pitching in Great American Ball Park.
So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but player A is Ryan Madson. Also unsurprisingly, Player B is Joakim Soria and Player C is Jonathan Broxton.
Now it would seem that Soria is the obvious choice for the Reds, but that's not quite the case.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Reds have indeed talked with the 28-year-old righty (see his Twitter page), but the hitch is that he won't be available until May due to last year's Tommy John surgery.
Madson too is coming off of Tommy John surgery.
As we've seen with other pitchers, (Brian Wilson '04, Francisco Liriano '10, Tim Hudson '09, Ryan Dempster '04) it can take over a year for pitchers to come back and be effective following Tommy John surgery.
With both Soria and Madson on the mend from this surgery, Broxton is the only one with a clean bill of health.
Couple Broxton's current state of health with his superior strikeout ability and his tendency to keep the ball out of the grandstands, and you have the best option for the Reds' closing gig in 2013.
The bigger question though, is who do you all think is the best man for the job in Cincinnati?