First of all, happy new year to all the readers of BRaysball Talk.
Now, as many know the Rays bullpen is being reinforced this off-season after going above and beyond expectancy for 2011. And while we love the work Kyle Farnsworth did in the closer role for 2011, essentially being the 2011 version of 2010's Rafael Soriano, I have little hope right now he could repeat this performance for 2012 and would like to see a more solid closer have that call in the 9th for 2012. Enter Ryan Madson.
In 2011, he took over the closer role in Philly for the injured Brad Lidge (You know, the guy who nailed the coffin shut on the Rays' 2008 magical run by striking out Eric Hinske swinging?) and proceeded to go 32 for 34 in save opportunities and posted a 2.37 ERA in the role.
With the Phillies signing Johnathan Papelbon to do the closing for them in Philly, it has effectively left him without a home. Enter Tampa Bay.
The Rays need a solid closer. One that will not leave the question of "Will he revert to his old self or be solid?" lingering in the back of the mind. This could be that player.
The thing is how much money and for how long. To be honest, I don't know what Madson wants. However, Scott Boras is his agent, which will mean it's not gonna be easy and it will probably be a multi-year deal with incentives wherever the 31 year old finally signs.
This is just an option, of course, and it probably won't happen. But it's worth noting and looking in to. And it should also be noted that MLB Trade Rumors is currently talking as Anaheim being the most likely future home for him.
This all just speculation, only time will tell.
[UPDATE, 1/10/12 11:12pm]: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports the Reds have agreed to sign Ryan Madson.