Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/28/12
The Cincinnati Reds agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with right-handed closer Jonathan Broxton. When finalized, the move clears Broxton to replace flame-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman as the closer in Cincinnati. That would free up Chapman to step into a starting role. Broxton, 28, began last season as the Kansas City Royals' closer, then was traded to Cincinnati on July 31 for two minor-leaguers. With the Reds, he mostly served as a setup man. In 35 appearances for Kansas City, which signed Broxton to a one-year, $4 million deal last offseason, he went 1-2 with 23 saves in 27 chances and a 2.27 ERA. He pitched 25 times for the Reds, going 3-3 with four saves and a 2.82 ERA. Broxton spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, twice making the National League All-Star team, before signing a one-year deal with the Royals last winter. Chapman, 24, is one of the most unhittable lefties in the majors, and he emerged as an intimidating closer this year. He went 38-for-43 on save opportunities while posting a 5-5 record and a 1.51 ERA. Chapman struck out 122 and walked just 23 in 71 2/3 innings. The Reds figure Chapman's blazing fastball would be just as effective in a starting role, though all 137 of Chapman's major league appearances have come in relief. Before making any decision on their bullpen pecking order, the Reds want to focus further attention on their bullpen. Finding a setup man to replace Broxton, or compete with him for both roles, is a priority. FOX Sports reported Joakim Soria, another ex-Royals closer, was one of the Reds' top free agent targets.
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