Reds get closer Broxton from Royals
Unable to upgrade their everyday lineup, the Cincinnati Reds
instead strengthened the back end of their bullpen on Tuesday by
acquiring closer Jonathan Broxton from Kansas City for a pair of
minor league pitchers.
Manager Dusty Baker plans to use Broxton as a set-up man for
closer Aroldis Chapman, who has dominated while finishing games.
Baker said Broxton could be used in save situations when Chapman
has pitched several days in a row.
The Reds surged into the NL Central lead by winning 10 in a row
before their 11-5 loss to San Diego on Monday night. They’ve pulled
it off without first baseman Joey Votto, their top hitter. Votto is
expected back in a few weeks.
”We had several deals for position players we looked at, and in
the end, we just felt we liked what we had and the deals didn’t
make sense for us,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. ”So we
decided to focus on pitching.
”We said, at the beginning, we were going to try to look for a
leadoff hitter, cleanup hitter, bench help or strengthen our
pitching, and the position player deals just weren’t right for us.
We felt good about adding an arm like Broxton. We’re still going to
look at things in August, deals that can be made.”
Broxton expected a trade, but was surprised to wind up with
”I kind of seen it coming, but I didn’t see Cincinnati,” he
said in Kansas City, where the Royals were getting ready to play
Cleveland. ”But they were real aggressive late is what (GM Dayton
Moore) said – that everything that was going on was Texas, Texas,
Texas. Cincinnati jumped right in the last second and got me.”
The Reds gave up 24-year-old left-hander Donnie Joseph and
23-year-old right-hander Juan Carlos Sulbaran. Joseph was 4-1 with
a 2.86 ERA and five saves at Triple-A. Sulbaran was 7-7 in 19
starts with a 4.04 ERA in Double-A.
Broxton goes from a team last in the AL Central at 41-60 to one
with the second-best record in the majors at 61-41. Cincinnati led
Pittsburgh by three games at the time of the trade.
”I’m going somewhere where I’m picking up 20-25 games (in
standings),” Broxton said. ”I enjoyed my time here, but this is
part of baseball, so go over there and hopefully we can win a
division over there.”
Reds players sat in front of the bank of big-screen television
sets in the clubhouse Tuesday watching news of the various trades,
hoping they wouldn’t be involved in one of them.
”Especially with our team, I think everybody definitely wants
to stay here,” left-handed reliever Bill Bray said, acknowledging
he was a little nervous about his chances of being included in a
The back of the bullpen has been the biggest challenge for
Baker. Closer Ryan Madson tore a ligament in his elbow during
spring training and had reconstructive surgery, leaving the Reds
without a proven closer. Then, they lost their two top set-up
Bray was limited during spring training by a groin injury that
landed him on the disabled list for nearly two months. He went back
on the 15-day DL on Tuesday with a sore back. The Reds called up
right-hander Todd Redmond from Triple-A Louisville to replace
Right-handed set-up man Nick Masset has been on the disabled
list all season with a sore pitching shoulder. He’s not close to
Baker eventually moved the hard-throwing Chapman into the
closer’s role, and he has responded by converting 21 of 25 save
chances, including his last 13 in a row. Broxton gives them another
option for the eighth inning.
”It gives us another power arm in the bullpen,” Baker said.
”You can always use more pitching. You never know what’s going to
Broxton missed most of the 2011 season with the Dodgers because
of a bone spur in his elbow that required surgery. He agreed to a
$4 million, one-year deal before this season with Kansas City,
giving the Royals a steady setup man for closer Joakim Soria. He
moved into the closer’s role when Soria needed reconstructive elbow
surgery in March and has saved 23 games in 27 chances.
The Reds expect Broxton to arrive before a game against San
Diego on Wednesday.
Royals manager Ned Yost plans to let Greg Holland close games in
”He’s been very solid down there,” Yost said. ”We’ll give him
an opportunity to close games out. He was pretty obvious for me
right now. He’s been pretty consistent and we feel his stuff is all
the way back to where it was last year, when he was really
AP freelance writer Alan Eskew in Kansas City contributed to
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