The Cincinnati Reds added an important piece to their bullpen, re-signing free-agent Jonathan Broxton to a three-year $21 million deal. Broxton will made $4 million next year, $7 million in 2014 and $9 million in 2015. There’s a $1 million buyout on a $9 million option for 2016.
The deal is similar to Brandon League’s three-year, $22.5 million deal with the Dodgers.
The Reds acquired Broxton from the Kansas City Royals at the 2012 trade deadline in exchange for RHP J. C. Sulbaran and LHP Donnie Joseph in a move to solidify their bullpen. Broxton had assumed the closer’s job for the Royals after starting the season as a setup man for Joakim Soria, when Soria had elbow surgery.
After moving to the Reds, Broxton filled in for closer Aroldis Chapman experienced a tired throwing arm last season with four saves in six opportunities, and an ERA of 2.82.
Broxton has a 3.10 ERA and 111 saves over an eight-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Royals and Reds.
The move offers the Reds an opportunity at moving Chapman into the starting rotation. Chapman saved 38 games for Cincinnati in 2012.
Chapman was set to begin 2012 with an opportunity and winning a spot in the starting rotation, but when closer Ryan Madson tore a ligament in his pitching elbow during spring training, the Reds were forced to hand over the closer’s role the Chapman. Madson since signed a new deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Reds will enter 2013 with a strong rotation that features, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, and Mike Leake, and Bronson Arroyo. Presumably Leake would be the odd man out should the Reds decide to move Chapman into the rotation.
The Reds lost in the NLDS to eventual World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants.