About a half an hour before the trade deadline, the news came out that the Reds had acquired the Royals’ closer Jonathan Broxton for pitching prospects J.C. Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph
Broxton is a solid addition to the bullpen. He’s only 28, and already has over 100 saves. He’s not getting the strikeouts he did in his mid-20s, but he still has the results. He had some worrying injury issues all through 2011, and only threw a few innings, but he’s doing well now. He’s a two pitch guy – fastball/slider, with the fastball coming in at an average of 95 mph, but he hits the high 90s semi-regularly, making him slower, but sort of complementary to Chapman as a righty in the pen. Currently, he’s making $4 million on a 1 year deal he signed this winter.
It’s not the most useful move that Walt could have made, in my opinion. The bullpen is one of the best in baseball. Getting a reliable righty does help, and I think that Broxton is an upgrade over Ondrusek, Simon, and the like, but I’m not too impressed with his walk rate, and his thus inflated WHIP. However, I have to admit that Broxton has solid groundball rates over his career – which bodes well for his transition from Kauffman and Dodger Stadium.
On the other hand, we didn’t give up too much for him. J.C. Sulbaran is a solid pitching prospect – young, and developing reasonably well – thought not really a blue chip, and certainly not a sure thing. He first hit my radar pitching for the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, though, so I was kind of fond of him. Donnie Joseph is a lefty reliever - 25 and in AAA, after dominating in AA Pensacola earlier this year. I think he’ll be a useful MLB player at some point, but given the situation, he’s probably not a great loss.
Maybe I would have liked some unlikely trade for Shin-Soo Choo better. I’m a little worried that Walt made this trade partially just to make a trade once it was clear that the outfielders we were interested in weren’t going to slip our way. But I think our team is pretty great, this trade doesn’t hurt, so welcome to the Reds, Jonathan Broxton.