After a successful run with the St. Louis Cardinals down the stretch last season, right-hander Jonathan Broxton has agreed to a two-year extension with the team. 

Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals announced Broxton’s extension on Thursday. Goold added the team “could still add another reliever” to fill out their bullpen for 2016. 

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Broxton’s deal with the Cardinals is worth $7.5 million and includes a full no-trade clause. 

Broxton’s 2015 season was a whirlwind. He struggled mightily with the Milwaukee Brewers, recording a 5.89 ERA and 41 hits allowed in 36.2 innings, before an August trade to St. Louis. He was a different pitcher after the deal, posting a 2.66 ERA with 20 hits allowed and 26 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. 

The Cardinals are taking a risk giving Broxton two guaranteed years with a full no-trade clause because he’s 31 and has been up and down with ERA totals over 4.00 four times since 2010. He did have his highest average fastball velocity (94.1 mph) since 2012 last season, so that’s an encouraging sign. 

There are a lot of questions in St. Louis this offseason with Jason Heyward still on the market and Lance Lynn out for 2016 after having Tommy John surgery in November, so keeping the bullpen that finished third in ERA last season intact is a good way to stay afloat in a competitive National League Central. 

Retaining Broxton gives the Cardinals a necessary bridge from the seventh and eighth innings to closer Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth. Broxton doesn’t drastically alter St. Louis’ expectations for next season, but he gives the team one less thing to worry about as the front office continues to explore major additions.


Stats per and unless otherwise noted 

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