Tag: Jonathan Broxton

Jonathan Broxton to Cardinals: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

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 Baseball-Reference.com and ESPN.com unless otherwise noted 

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Cincinnati Reds: Week 8 Player Power Rankings

After seven long weeks atop the Reds player power rankings, Johnny Cueto was officially lifted from the throne following a disastrous outing against the Washington Nationals. It was an odd sequence of events; the first two runs to cross the plate were unearned. By that time, Cueto had already been laboring, working nearly every full.

But on a night when the Reds’ ace was less than perfect, the defense behind him was less than adequate, making for a beating at the hands of the Nationals and a new No. 1 in this week’s power rankings.

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Ranking Every Move by the Cincinnati Reds During Busy Offseason

The Cincinnati Reds are looking to win the National League Central and make a deep playoff run in 2013, so it’s time to evaluate the team’s offseason moves.

For the second straight offseason, the team stayed put at the winter meetings. Just like last year, the Reds made some major moves after the meetings wrapped up.

Aroldis Chapman will try to move from closer to the rotation, but that move won’t be evaluated because of his impact as closer. However, it could end up being the biggest decision of the offseason.

Cincinnati had three glaring needs entering the offseason: leadoff man, center fielder/left fielder and adding to the bench. A reliever was also part of the list, but the team had bigger needs to fill.

It’s unclear if third baseman Scott Rolen will return or retire, but it would be a good addition if he accepted a bench role. He’s a clubhouse leader and is still a great defender. Having him mentor Frazier can only help the team. It would rank among the best moves of the offseason if he returns.

Most of the roster stays intact, so the Reds are in great position to make a playoff run in 2013. The offseason moves should only enhance the team’s chances next season.

So what was the most important move of the offseason?

Feel free to make an argument for any moves that should be swapped. 

*Stats are from ESPN.com

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Aroldis Chapman to the Rotation Could Be a Bad Move for the Cincinnati Reds

So, reports have surfaced that Jonathan Broxton has signed a three-year/$21 million deal. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon confirmed the deal yesterday with this tweet.

Now it seems to be a pretty foregone conclusion that Aroldis Chapman will be the team’s fifth starter. This decision carries major implications both for the Cincinnati Reds as a team and for Aroldis Chapman’s future as a pitcher.

The first concern regarding Chapman’s move to the starting rotation is it’s effect on the Reds’ bullpen.

The team had arguably the most dominant bullpen in the Majors in 2012. Reds’ relievers finished with the best team ERA in baseball (2.65) while finishing first in saves (56), third in BAA (.219), third in OPSa (.639) and second in K/9 (9.90). 

Removing Chapman from this bullpen and replacing him with an inferior Jonathan Broxton dilutes the effectiveness of the bullpen. Chapman didn’t record his first save until mid-May and he still managed to record two more saves than Jonathan Broxton has in any season of his career.

I’m a supporter of the move to sign Broxton. However, that support only comes from the organization’s creation of a hole in the bullpen with their intentions on moving Chapman. If Chapman doesn’t pan out in the starting rotation then the Reds will move him back to the bullpen and the front office will have just doled out about $7 million-per-year for a set-up man.

The impact this has on Chapman’s career could be monumental.

Though there are instances of pitchers moving to and from the bullpen and starting rotation (i.e. John Smoltz) however, there are far more examples of relievers who had their arms ruined when they changed roles.

Neftali Feliz was shifted to the Texas Rangers‘ starting rotation this year when the team brought in Joe Nathan. Feliz pitched until May before he tore his UCL and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

If you need an example closer to home there’s two that spring to mind.

Danny Graves saved 30 games in three consecutive seasons between 2000 and 2002. The Reds moved him to the starting rotation in 2003 and it was a disaster. In 30 games (26 starts), Graves pitched 169 innings allowing a 5.33 ERA and 1.45 WHIP with just 60 strikeouts to his credit.

Graves did save 41 games the following season with Cincinnati but he was never the same pitcher. Following his 2003 debacle, Graves never pitched over 68.1 innings in a season and averaged a 4.98 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and a whopping 11.9 H/9 for the remainder of his career.

Following the 2006 season, Danny Graves was out of Major League Baseball.

Another example comes in the form of Chicago White Sox‘ starter Chris Sale. Although he didn’t actually ruin his arm, it’s clear that he struggled with his move to the rotation.

Sale pitched wonderfully in the first half of 2012 placing himself in early Cy Young consideration. However, the second half of the season proved disastrous for the young lefty.

After pitching to a 10-2 record, with a 2.19 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 98 strikeouts to 25 walks in 102.2 innings pitched for the first half of 2012, Sale followed that up in the second half with a 4.03 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and 94 strikeouts to 26 walks in 89.1 innings pitched.

There is a possibility that Chapman moves to the starting rotation and performs well. If he does, then I’ll be happy to admit my being wrong. However, the fact of the matter is that there are far many more examples of this transition not working out than there are of it working.

The Reds have one of the most dominant closers in Major League Baseball and the idea of possibly destroying his arm in order to improve an already strong starting rotation seems risky and redundant.

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3 Free Agents the San Francisco Giants Should Consider

Even though the San Francisco Giants are fully focused on their game tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals, there will baseball beyond 2012.

Whenever it is that the Giants enter the off-season, they will need to carefully consider the annual crop of free agents to decide who can best give them a chance to win in 2013.

Here are three candidates worthy of San Francisco’s attention. 

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Fake Jonathan Broxton Tweets Dupe Cincinnati ABC Affiliate at MLB Trade Deadline

The MLB trade deadline came and went with a flurry of deals. Such excitement was bound to have some hilarious fallout. 

The biggest mistake wasn’t from a team overpaying for a pitcher, or a down-in-the-dumps team selling off top talent—it was from a news agency being duped by a fake Twitter account. 

Deadspin caught a humorous gaffe by WCPO.com. which included two tweets from @Brox4AllStarz, a fake account for former Royals pitcher Jonathan Broxton, in its article about the trade. 

The big man who blows away hitters from the mound was just traded from the Royals to the Cincinnati Reds, and this ABC affiliate was no doubt eager to get word from the man being sent out of town. 

Here is a screen capture of the initial report, which has since been amended. 

Look to the bottom and you can spot the hilarious rants of a faux Twitter account. It’s less of a real pitcher’s thoughts and more of what a mindless meathead would state after being traded. 

Here is the first tweet used:

And the glorious second:

While Broxton had some issues with pitch selection back when he was the Dodgers’ closer, we will give him a tad more credit for being more articulate than this. 

Still, you may want to hide your barbecue from the real guy too. 


Follow me on Twitter for more MLB marvels. 

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MLB Trade Deadline: Breaking Down Reds Acquisition of Jonathan Broxton

The Cincinnati Reds made a relatively small splash before today’s MLB trade deadline by acquiring relief pitcher and Kansas City closer, Jonathan Broxton, according to Jerry Crasnick on ESPN.com.

In return, the Reds send minor league pitchers J.C. Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph to the Royals. Sulbaran has continued to put up solid numbers but is still a ways away from earning a shot in the bigs, while Joseph is a flame-throwing reliever that is expected to be in a Reds uniform later this season.

Broxton joins an already impressive collection of arms in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen, that has seen Aroldis Chapman put up ridiculous numbers as Cincy‘s closer. With that being said, one must begin to wonder just what Broxton‘s role will be?

Chapman is and will remain the Reds’ closer for the time being, so Broxton will join Sean Marshall and Logan Ondrusek in the revolving door for set-up man and most likely be the go-to choice to close when Chapman is not available.

This move by Cincy could also be an attempt to free Chapman or Alfredo Simon up to start—in the instance that a rotation spot were to come available because of injury. In this case, Broxton could easily slide into and take over the spot at the end of the bullpen if needed.

Either scenario is a possibility and no matter which way it goes, Jonathan Broxton is going to bring some rather impressive numbers to the table. Through 35 appearances and 35.2 innings pitched this season with the Royals, he has posted a 2.27 ERA while notching 23 of 27 save attempts.

Broxton isn’t quite the power arm that he was early in his career, but he maintains the ability to be a very good and reliable piece to this 2012 version of the “Nasty Boys.”

While assessing this trade it would be mute to ignore the fact that this was the only move of significance the Reds made at the deadline.

Many will argue that relief pitching was not at the core of their immediate needs—I would happen to agree. But early on as trade rumors first began to fly, it was still a need—even with its’ current success.

The Reds have been rather lucky to avoid the injury bug to this point in the season with their arms. Insurance was needed—especially to open up Chapman or even Alfredo Simon to start if needed down the road.

The Reds were linked to many other players throughout the past two months and especially leadoff men like Denard Span, Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre.

It looks as though the price was just more than the Reds were willing to pay—and if the price wasn’t right, they were better off standing pat. Let’s just hope they are able to solve their leadoff issues in-house.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Could the San Francisco Giants Trade for a Closer?

When Brian Wilson got hurt in April, Bruce Bochy had a big decision to make.

Would he choose Sergio Romo, the star reliever whom righties can’t hit? Would he choose Javier Lopez, the left-handed submariner whom lefties can’t hit? Or would he choose Santiago Casilla, the hard-throwing righty who can be very erratic.

Surprisingly, Bochy chose Casilla. It seemed to be the right move, as Casilla converted 20 of his first 21 save opportunities.

Then, the wheels came off.

In just eight short appearances, Casilla blew five saves, as his ERA went from 1.32 to 3.34. In four of those eight outings, Casilla allowed two or more runs, and he cost the Giants a win in two of those games. Bochy even said recently that the Giants will rethink the closer situation (h/t Will Brinson of NBCBayArea.com).

However, San Francisco doesn’t have that many other options. Romo has balky knees and elbow problems, and he can’t close on a day-to-day basis. Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt are usually used to face lefties in the seventh or eighth inning, although both could close if needed.

George Kontos and Brad Penny have done a nice job in San Francisco, and both should see some save opportunities coming soon. However, Penny has allowed some home runs and struggled recently, and Kontos is young and inexperienced.

So, what could the Giants do about it?

Trade for a closer.

Huston Street, Jonathan Broxton, Brett Myers and Francisco Rodriguez are all available, and, according to a report from SBNation, the Giants are interested in Broxton. The Royals closer is 22-for-26 on save opportunities, has a 2.34 ERA this year and hasn’t allowed a home run in his last 20.2 IP.

However, Broxton is inconsistent. He strikes out tons of batters, but he also gives up a lot of hits. Last year, Broxton had a 5.68 ERA, and the year before he had a 4.01 ERA.

Broxton could end up being just like Casilla in the second half, and that’s a chance the Giants don’t want to take.

According to Andy Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, the Giants scouted the Cubs and Royals farm systems. The Giants don’t want to give away top-notch prospects, since they already parted with star pitching prospect Zach Wheeler last year.

However, if the price is right, they could go after Street.

Street is 15-for-15 on save opportunities with a 1.03 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. Just like Broxton, he has the ability to miss bats. However, Street has also been lights-out this year, and if the Giants traded for him, they would have arguably the best closer and the best setup man in baseball.

They would have to part with some prospects, but one solution is trading a catcher. The Padres have a young catching prospect in Yasmani Grandal, and he is hitting .288 with five home runs (in the majors). However, they could use Giants catcher Tommy Joseph in a trade if the Giants were willing to trade him.

If the Padres won’t take Joseph, San Francisco could find some other prospects. They have a lot of outfielders, and they have Gary Brown. Even though San Francisco probably won’t trade him, he could be used as bait.

No matter whom the Giants trade, they will have to get a closer. Casilla can’t pitch in high-pressure situations, Romo can’t close every day, and no one else seems to be ready to take over at closer yet.

It’s very hard to win in the playoffs without a closer who can handle the pressure, and Street can handle it.

Street can close when the pressure is on, and he has pitched in the playoffs. Broxton has pitched in the playoffs, too, but he has a 4.40 career ERA in the postseason.

And, even though it seems that the Giants have a good bullpen, closing out games is different. No one on the team (except for Romo) has what it takes to close.

Broxton and Street do, and they could really help the Giants.

Or they could hurt the Giants on other teams.

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Cardinals Trade Rumors: 5 Potential Deals to Shore Up St. Louis Bullpen

Last night against the Miami Marlins the Cardinals came back to win a game in which they trailed in the eighth inning for the first time this season. They were 0-26 in those situations until Monday night.

However, the Redbirds’ bullpen tried their best to punt the game to the Marlins in the seventh as Fernando Salas got just one out while allowing runners to reach second and third. Scatter-armed Eduardo Sanchez followed and walked three men in a row—the first intentionally with the other two coming Rick Ankiel-style.

The Cardinal relievers walked eight batters on the night in 10 innings.

Fortunately for St. Louis, Heath Bell and the Marlins’ bullpen have had continuing struggles of their own and blew a four-run lead in the ninth (but at least they forced the Cards to, you know—hit the ball).

Jason Motte was fortunate that Jose Reyes’ scorching liner to center was right at outfielder Shane Robinson to end a strange night of baseball.

While we give manager Mike Matheny and GM John Mozeliak a moment to wipe their brows, let’s look at five trades that would immediately help the Cardinals’ stressed bullpen.

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Jays Talk: Are the Jays 3 Years or 3 Players Away from the Playoffs?

As we head into the dog days of August, Jays fans are just now starting to get excited over the prospects of this team.

Usually around this time of year, it’s the lull in the schedule where teams usually just try and play out the string until September, but for the Jays, things look completely different.

The Jays are fighting game in and game out, and are 57-55 in 102 games this season. The team was expected to maybe win at most 75 games this season, so they are definitely ahead of expectations.

If the Jays had the ability to close out games with more ease, they could likely have seven-10 more wins than they do this season.

But with that said, the Jays are expected to fall out of contention soon as they remain 11.5 back in the wild card and 12.5 back in the AL East. Their playoff hopes are fading fast, but the future is brighter than ever.

A main component of the future made his debut last night. Brett Lawrie, a native of Langley, British Columbia, made his highly anticipated Blue Jays debut in fine fashion coming up with an RBI single in his first ever at-bat.

After a bout of “erroritis,” Lawrie calmed down a little and finished out the game strong, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Lawrie’s debut last night set the country a blaze as it’s likely the most publicized minor league debut in Jays history. Lawrie, who has drawn comparisons to Ian Kinsler and David Wright, didn’t look out of place last night at the plate.

So that begs the question, since the Jays are ahead of expectations and .500 plus this year, would the Jays contend if they had three more players to add to the fold? Obviously these players would have to be good players.

But on the other hand, are the Jays just too young and inexperienced to contend right now even if they had those three extra players to add to the depth of the squad?

We’ll dissect the two scenarios right now.


Three Players

In my opinion the Jays would be in a better position if they have a closer, starting pitcher (a No. 2 or No. 3) and a second basemen.

The Jays this offseason should be looking at improving their bullpen. The relief department is filled with quality arms.

Closers available include Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Valverde, Ryan Madson and Jonathan Broxton, all of whom would be better options than Jon Rauch.

A few others have options attached to their deals and may opt out such as Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez who will likely want to leave Milwaukee due to being a set-up man behind John Axford.

So the free-agent cupboard is stocked heavily for Alex Anthopolous to really make an impact this offseason.

The Jays have been in talks with Houston over Wandy Rodriguez, and he would likely fit into the mold of that No. 2 or 3 starter this team needs; however, I just think he’ll get murdered by the AL East bats. Even Baltimore, the worst team in the AL, could destroy this guy.

The No. 2 or 3 pitcher in my opinion will come from within, as the free-agent class for pitchers is rather bare.

As for the second baseman, Aaron Hill is still find is a useful player; however, his swing needs serious work.

After a great silver slugger year where he hit 36 home runs 108 RBIs and averaged .286, Hill’s numbers have plummeted into the abyss as he’s only hit .215 in the two seasons since (August 6th) and hit 31 home runs in 882 at-bats.

 Hill has abandoned his quick, smooth stroke for a more loopy and long home run swing, thanks to the hitting coach Dwayne Murphy’s philosophy of sitting on your pitch and letting it rip. Hill’s best season came under Gene Tenace.

Adam Lind credited Tenace with his great offensive numbers in the month of July and August 2009, saying: “The thing is, a lot of people can teach you how to hit, but not a lot of people can teach you how to hit in the big leagues.”

Hill has been struggling, hitting only .232 this season, as is Travis Snider, who is now in AAA again. JP Arencibia will never be a high-average hitter, but he should still average around .245 to .260, but he’s at a .216 clip right now.

Rajai Davis hit .284 last season, this season he’s been relegated to fourth OF duties and is hitting .242.

The rant aside, only a scarce few have improved under Murphy (Bautista, Escobar, Molina) and the Jays might actually be better served finding a new hitting coach as opposed to adding another bat in the offseason. Build from within, I would like to say.

We’ve looked at the three players side and I decided that a closer is a must for this team, and a bonus would be a legit starting pitcher and second baseman. However, we could probably fill those two positions from within for a much cheaper price.


Three Years

The Jays are one of the youngest teams in the majors right now and some argue they are still two or three years away from contending because of their lack of experience, and the fact they have quality depth up and down the minor leagues.

The Jays are blessed with a great deal of starting pitching depth down in the minors with as many as possibly 10 or more major league caliber starters.

Deck McGuire looks to be a horse, Henderson Alvarez is looking dominant with his 95 mph-plus fastball and Nestor Molina is mowing down the competition.

Justin Nicolino is a man amongst boys in the Northwest League. Noah Syndergaard looks to be the real deal as well.

Asher Wojciechowski is struggling somewhat in Dunedin, but the organization still has high hopes for him, as well as Aaron Sanchez, another one of those projectable high school arms the Jays drafted last season.

Chad Jenkins, Drew Hutchinson, Adonys Cardona, PJ Walters, Mitchell Taylor and Joel Carreno are looking pretty great as well down in the minors.

The Jays have also only signed four of their top 25 drafted players from the 2011 draft. The Jays could add Tyler Beede, Daniel Norris, Kevin Comer, John Stilson and Tom Robson to the fold as well.

The highest rated Jays prospect whom I nearly forgot about, Kyle Drabek, has struggled with his control this year and was demoted to AAA earlier this season.

He hasn’t made it back and has continued to struggle down in Las Vegas. When he figures it all out again, he’s that quality arm the Jays are searching for.

Most of these guys I would say are two or three years away from a chance at making in to the show. McGuire, Drabek and Alvarez are likely the closest to making an impact right now.

The Jays infield isn’t littered with prospects, but there are some good ones that may be worth the wait.

SS Adeiny Hechavarria has huge amount of upside as he projects more like an Edgar Renteria or Alcides Escobar types of shortstops. He’ll likely not hit for average, but he does have a gold glove caliber glove and some speed.

Dickie Thon, Chris Hawkins, Mike McDade, David Cooper, Kellen Sweeney and Jorge Vega-Rosado look to be serviceable MLB players down the line.

To add to that, the Jays might have the best stocked catching prospects in the minors as Travis D’Arnaud is looking like a top-five prospect in AA. Carlos Perez is having a down year, but may have even more upside in some scouts opinions. AJ Jimenez and Santiago Nessy are looking good as well.

Lastly we look out to the outfield and that’s where the Jays will obviously need to make moves. Already having long-term options in center and right, the Jays really don’t have a lot of need for outfielders at the MLB level; however the team is stocked nicely in the outfield.

Jake Marisnick is having a sick year down in Lansing, as he’s projecting more and more like Hunter Pence by the day.

Anthony Gose is striking out a ton in AA; however he’s already at 50 steals this season and looks to finish with a .250 plus average. His arm out in center is very strong and looks to be a part of the future.

The other three heads of the monster in Lansing, Marcus Knecht, Mike Crouse and Markus Brisker, are all making good strides down in Michigan.

Eric Arce is displaying some power down the GCL and Moises Sierra is showing a good bat and a strong arm down in New Hampshire.

As you can tell, the Jays are well-stocked in the minor league system.

Should the Jays continue to rebuild and wait the three years, or should they look to add those necessary missing pieces and make a run next year when the playoff format should likely change?

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