On Wednesday afternoon, the KC Royals made it official: free agent reliever Jonathan Broxton was a Royal. He donned his new Royals #51 jersey during a press conference and talked about his offseason hunting trip with manager Ned Yost and outfielder Jeff Francoeur. Apparently they were good salesmen.
It seems like Broxton has been around forever, but is just 27 years old. He is also coming off offseason elbow surgery and down seasons with the LA Dodgers. The soft-spoken Georgian talked about fitting in with the young Royals and trying to bring experience. You can check out his press conference HERE.
As of right now, he will be the setup man to Joakim Soria (as long as he isn’t traded).
Everyone around KC is delighted with this signing, though I am highly skeptical. It’s not just that Broxton missed the majority of the 2011 season due to the bone spurs in his elbow (and I heard that he complained of shoulder issues). It’s that he wasn’t effective over the last two seasons and was hard to watch during the postseason in both 2008 and 2009. It seems like he runs out of gas late in the season and that’s not what the Royals need if they are hoping to make a postseason run in 2012. Plus, paying a guy $4 million as a reclamation project is a lot for a small market team trying to build a contender with youth (didn’t the Royals trade Melky because they didn’t want to pay him?).
You can throw gas at 100mph but if it’s up and right down the middle, every Major League hitter will crush it. And that is what I’ve seen from Broxton over the last few seasons.
However, that is just my opinion from afar. I wanted to get some insight on Broxton from a Dodgers perspective, so I talked to Clare Toffoli (well emailed) a fellow Aerys Sports writer who covers the Dodgers.
Here is what she had to say:
You’re right to be skeptical about Broxton. I don’t think he has much left in the tank, to be perfectly honest. He struggled mightily over the last two seasons and only occasionally looked like the Broxton of old.
I’m pretty sure that injuries played a much bigger deal in his decline than the Dodgers let on, but it wasn’t just his body letting him down. His mechanics seemed off, and I worry about his mental toughness.
I hope for his sake (and yours!) that he can turn it around. He’s a good guy with the potential to be amazing.
I second what Clare had to say. I hope that for his sake and the Royals, that he can figure it out this season and be the beast that everyone thinks he can be (again).
*If you are interested in the Dodgers, check out Clare’s Aerys Sports site, The Ravine Report.