Defending NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds have re-signed one of their trade deadline chess pieces, Jonathan Broxton, to a 3-year, $21M contract, likely with the idea of moving hard throwing (to say the least) lefty Aroldis Chapman into the rotation for 2013. Down the stretch in the race for the playoffs, Broxton was a key weapon out of the Cincinnati bullpen, appearing 25 times with a 2.82 ERA and 4 saves (when Chapman had some arm trouble). Brox could certainly stay the set up guy to Chapman giving the Reds a bullpen to be the envy of every NL team. Plus Chapman has shown from time to time that his arm simply cannot hold up to the long MLB season. Although this could partially be attributable to near-daily work, instead of more measured, once-every-five-day starts.
While expensive, Broxton is only 28 years old, so a 3-year deal will be his essential prime. Plus, as happens with relievers, should things not work out, or if the Reds find themselves with a surplus of relief arms, he’s great a great trade pawn for prospects or a proven bat or starter at any point during the contract. The move makes sense for Broxton because he’s guaranteed to pitch on a contender, gets good guaranteed money (for a guy who seemed that his closing days might be behind him).
The Reds have not officially named Broxton the closer nor committed Chapman to the rotation. Going into 2012, the Reds were planning on using Ryan Madson in the closing role until his elbow gave way to season ending surgery and they essentially had few options left but to use Chapman in that role. One would think though, at $7M (avg) per season, that Broxton is not going to be the 8th inning guy.
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