Ken Rosenthal from FOX Sports is reporting that the Reds have reached a three year agreement with right-handed relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton (28). Add confirmation stories from Mark Sheldon and John Fay, plus the Reds official announcement. There will be a conference call with Broxton and Reds assistant GM Bob Miller at 11 a.m. ET.
Here are the rumored (but not confirmed) terms:
Broxton deal with
#Reds is three years, $21M. Also a club option for 2016. Salaries of $4M-$7M-$9M, with $1M buyout on $9M option.
While generally I’m not a fan of long-term closer deals, at least this one isn’t as expensive or long as the four-year, $45 million agreement with CoCo Cordero. The substantial salary front loading is noteworthy. For the first two years, Broxton will earn about half what Cordero did. That’s progress for those of us who hate to see clubs throw money at ninth-inning specialists.
After coming to Cincinnati on August 1, Broxton appeared in 25 regular season games with the Reds. He probably appeared in a few of those games after that, but searing pain prevents my memory from accessing that information. Broxton’s role mostly was pitching the eighth inning, but he also recorded four saves over a stretch where Aroldis Chapman was unavailable.
During his short time with the Reds, Broxton’s K/9 (8.1) was considerably lower than it had been during 2008 (11.5) and 2009 (13.5), his best years as closer for the Dodgers. On the other hand, his control was better (1.2 BB/9 compared to 3.6 over his career). Caveat: that sample size is one of the few times you’ll ever need to say the word ‘small’ when discussing Broxton.
The move clears the way for the Reds to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation if they desire. In this interview with Mark Sheldon, Reds’ General Manager addressed the club’s plans a couple weeks ago:
The specific makeup of the Reds’ 2013 rotation and back end of the bullpen will have one rather large question mark next to it — at least for the time being. Much of the uncertainty will exist until the Reds figure out what to do with Aroldis Chapman.
“We haven’t made a decision on Chapman as a starter or as a reliever,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We’re talking about it.”
Part of what determines if Chapman starts involves how well the Reds navigate their way around the free-agent market for closers.
“It depends on if we re-sign [Jonathan] Broxton and [Ryan] Madson,” Jocketty said. “Or if we get another closer.”
Bracketing off the issue of whether Aroldis Chapman could/would/should move to the starting rotation, what do you think of the Broxton signing on its own? Broxton joins Sean Marshall, Nick Masset and Jose Arredondo as bullpen pitchers already under contract for 2013. J.J. Hoover returns under team control for league minimum. The Reds have pending arbitration decisions this week on Sam LeCure, Alfredo Simon and Logan Ondrusek. The club has already parted ways for now with Bill Bray.