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The Reds re-sign Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21 million deal

Nov 28, 2012, 8:39 AM EDT

Jonathan Broxton Getty Images

UPDATE: Yes, it was close to Brandon League‘s deal. Ken Rosenthal reports that Broxton is getting three years and $21 million guaranteed. The salaries climb, paying him $4 million in 2013, $7 million in 2014, $9 million in 2015 and either a $1 million buyout or a $9 million option for 2016.

That may seem crazy for a guy like Broxton, but I bet that becomes the going rate for adequate-but-not-spectacular closers here pretty soon.

1:25 AM: CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Reds and Jonathan Broxton have come to terms on a multiyear deal that is set to be announced Wednesday.

It’s expected to be a three-year pact, and one imagines it’ll come in close to Brandon League’s three-year, $22.5 million deal with the Dodgers.

The plan appears to be for Broxton to step into the closer’s role, with Aroldis Chapman joining Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey in the rotation. Mike Leake would work in relief.

It’s a switch with tons of upside, but also with plenty of risk. Of the three biggest relief-to-starting conversion stories last year, only one paid off: Chris Sale with the White Sox. Daniel Bard was a bust for Boston, and Neftali Feliz got hurt in Texas and needed Tommy John surgery.

And then there’s Broxton. He was a perfectly effective reliever with the Royals and Reds last year, amassing a 2.48 ERA in 58 innings. However, his margin for error certainly isn’t what it was. During his first five years with the Dodgers, he averaged at least 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings every season, topping out at 13.5 in 2009. Last year, he was all of the way down to 7.0 K/9 IP.

Personally, I’m all for taking the chance on moving Chapman to the rotation. Still, I would have gone in a different direction for a closer replacement. Re-signing Ryan Madson to a one-year deal would have been the better move.

  1. kiwicricket - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Medlen? Seemed to go alright in the rotation…

    • xavier46 - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:07 AM

      Medlen was a starter, then used as a reliever, then after injury and some relief appearances was back to a starter in July.

      None of the other 3 listed were ever regular MLB starters before, Medlen was.

  2. bluesoxbaseball - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    If the net effect of signing Broxton is to try Chapman in the rotation I’m for it. Like Matthew, however, there was no legitimate reason to go three years on a guy like Broxton. Add twenty minutes to every Reds game with a save chance.

  3. aspinaci - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Medlen has never been a regular starter, not in the minors or mlb. He’s started a total of 30 games in the majors out if 120 appearances including 12 in 12. He has been very good though!

  4. uyf1950 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Their situations aren’t exactly the same but you could be looking at the template for the deal Soriano will be getting in years with maybe an extra million dollars for each year (3 years/$24MM). Probably seems about right for Soriano. In light of what these relievers and closer seem to be commanding lately. Just my opinion.

  5. js20011041 - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    If I were a Reds fan, I’d be really worried right now. It’s not just that this is a bad move, it’s that you have to wonder what the thought process in the front office is. Giving big money to a reliever is a bad move in general. It’s an even worse move when you give big money to a reliever who doesn’t miss bats. You have to wonder what kind of information is used to make personnel decisions.

    • junglerat524 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      I trust Walts judgement.

  6. losangelesfan - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    There’s no way he’s worth that. He’ll be a back of the bullpen guy by August. His fastball has been straight since he hurt his elbow midway through ’10.

    • junglerat524 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      He hasn’t been promised the closer job but yes, that is where he will start out I’m betting.

  7. junglerat524 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    I would rather give him this contract than take a chance on a guy coming off Tommy John (Ryan Madson) who you still owe $4 mil too (and he never pitched a game for you). Then again, if I win the POWERBALL !!!! I’m gonna be in charge!!!!

  8. btwicey - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Umm hello? Best (and really the only proper) comp: Chris sale

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