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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Royal - Sign Broxton

Kansas City Royals sign reliever Jonathan Broxton to a 1 year/$4 million contract (with $1 million in bonuses based on appearances—sorry no details)

It’s an interesting signing for a couple of reasons. Not that he had a great deal of choice as to the general nature of the contract, but it’s a sensible choice for Broxton. If he’s back to something approaching the form of 2006-2009 (always possible though I’d bet against it. The history of pure power pitchers in their early 30s coming off major arm problems is not all that promising.) he will be free to sign for some serious money next year. Probably not with the Royals though. Success will probably price him out of consideration by the Royals.

At the same time it makes a world of sense for a contending team to sign him. After all if he is back (or mostly back), the team will be glad to pay the $5 million (one assumes he’ll make the bonuses if he pitches well). And if he washes out, there’s no long term commitment and the cost for 2012 is anything but crippling. The tail end of most bullpens is something of a lottery and the payout if you’re right about Broxton is higher than usual.

As with the Chen signing this strongly suggests that the Royals see themselves as contenders.  I guess I’d call that optimistic but not insane. As has been pointed out by a number of people around here, they’re much closer to the Tigers than last year’s record suggests (though still a fair distance away) with an impressive amount of young talent on the team and a number of open wounds (and thus positions that are relatively easy to upgrade) in the lineup. Who knows? Billy could be happy one day.

Exactly how Broxton will be used isn’t clear to me.  Greg Holland has impressive stuff but no history of command of the strike zone. I’d be happy planning to give him an important role, but I guess there’s a lot to be said for allowing him to build on his excellent play of last year. Meaning that if Broxton is effective in spring training he’ll probably be the 8th inning guy. And if both Broxton and Holland appear ready it’s certainly possible that Joakim Soria could be dealt. I’d be more than a little surprised if that’s the current plan, but Soria could be more valuable to the Royals in a trade provided both Broxton and Holland work out.

Ron J Posted: December 01, 2011 at 02:20 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Derb Posted: December 01, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#4004488)
Great move by the Royals, but a strange one for Broxton. He had a few contenders interested in him. I wonder why he chose to sign with KC over, say, Boston? Was KC the only team to offer him a prominent role? Regardless, Broxton could become trade bait at the deadline if KC is out of it and he proves that he's serviceable.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#4004503)
Great move by the Royals, but a strange one for Broxton. He had a few contenders interested in him. I wonder why he chose to sign with KC over, say, Boston? Was KC the only team to offer him a prominent role? Regardless, Broxton could become trade bait at the deadline if KC is out of it and he proves that he's serviceable.

I'd have thought Broxton's priority would be a team with no established closer, like the Mets.

Even if his stuff isn't back, a deceptively shiny ERA and 30 saves could set his up for a nice payday next year.
   3. Bob Evans Posted: December 01, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#4004529)
Great move by the Royals, but a strange one for Broxton. He had a few contenders interested in him. I wonder why he chose to sign with KC over, say, Boston? Was KC the only team to offer him a prominent role? Regardless, Broxton could become trade bait at the deadline if KC is out of it and he proves that he's serviceable.

A possible game would be:

1. Sign with a team that gives you the most likely low-pressure situation in which to excel.
2. Excel at least through July.
3. Teams who are contending in July and need a reliever eye you covetously.
4. You get traded to a team who is contending in July and not merely had been projected to be a contender last December.
   4. Mark S. is bored Posted: December 01, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#4004586)
1. Sign with a team that gives you the most likely low-pressure situation in which to excel.
2. Excel at least through July.
3. Teams who are contending in July and need a reliever eye you covetously.
4. You get traded to a team who is contending in July and not merely had been projected to be a contender last December.


The Mets traded a closer last year and got back a mediocre MLB middle reliever and a mediocre A ball reliever. Not exactly the top of the line prospects. Yes K-Rod had some contract issues that depressed his price, but I unless Broxton starts throwing like prime Eckersley, I don't see them getting a lot of return by trading Broxton at the trade deadline.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 01, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#4004593)
Someone raised it in the initial thread about the signing but I wonder if this means something about Soria. Whether it's a planned move to the rotation or a sign that they simply don't trust him that might be enough (plus the dollars) to entice Broxton. As snapper said, a 30 save season for the Mets or Marlins would seem like a better move in the long run and I can't imagine some team like that wouldn't have given him a similar deal.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#4004596)

Great move by the Royals, but a strange one for Broxton. He had a few contenders interested in him. I wonder why he chose to sign with KC over, say, Boston? Was KC the only team to offer him a prominent role? Regardless, Broxton could become trade bait at the deadline if KC is out of it and he proves that he's serviceable.


Someone cited an article that said Boston was very interested, but Broxton wanted to sign quickly, and Boston didn't want to move so fast without going through his medical records.
   7. Rusty Priske Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#4005017)
I don't understand why people think signing Broxton has implications for Soria. Broxton is not a good replacement for a closer. That would be a HUGE downgrade.

Who it might have implications for is Holland.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#4005033)
It also may have implications for Arthur Bryant's BBQ. Major implications.
   9. Vrhovnik Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#4005193)
It also may have implications for Arthur Bryant's BBQ. Major implications.


Why stop at Bryant's? Oklahoma Joe's, Jack Stack, Gates & Sons, Rosedale, Wyandot. They all need to be put on alert.
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 02, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#4005252)
I don't understand why people think signing Broxton has implications for Soria. Broxton is not a good replacement for a closer. That would be a HUGE downgrade.


The issue is that it seems odd that with plenty of teams having either closer jobs up for grabs or in tenuous hands it seems odd that Broxton would go to a team that seems to have a certain closer if something wasn't up. I don't think you'll get a huge argument that Soria > Broxton but it makes sense for Broxton to have gone some place he expects to have a chance to close for the reasons noted by snapper in #2.

Or maybe he really enjoyed his hunting trip with Ned Yost.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#4007269)
The Royals as contenders... Well, maybe. They were only 71-91 last year, but their pythag was 78-84. They have a good core of Gordon-Butler-Hosmer, but they need more on offense. And I don't really see where the pitching will come from. Sanchez-Soria-Broxton can only take them so far. Granted I'm not well versed in the state of their farm system.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#4007313)
They have a good core of Gordon-Butler-Hosmer, but they need more on offense. And I don't really see where the pitching will come from.


3B, 2B and catcher were completely awful last year. It wouldn't take much to be an upgrade at those positions, although they are staffed by youngsters (Mostakas, Giovotella and Sal Perez, respectively) so that's not a given. I would expect regression from Frenchy and Gordon and the drop off from Melky to Cain will hurt, although that's a big win defensively.

The pitching is where they obviously need to improve. And I don't really see it either. Basically it would take Paulino proving last year was not a fluke, Chen proving last year was not a fluke, Sanchez being the good Sanchez and not bad Sanchez, and Danny Duffy turning a big corner. That wouldn't be totally unrealistic, but its not all that likely.

Still, I think they should probably be around .500.
   13. geonose Posted: December 29, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#4025305)
The history of pure power pitchers in their early 30s coming off major arm problems is not all that promising.

Late to the party here, but I wanted to point out that Broxton is only 27.
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 01, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4026431)
Why stop at Bryant's? Oklahoma Joe's, Jack Stack, Gates & Sons, Rosedale, Wyandot. They all need to be put on alert.

Is Smoke Stack still around? I used to love that you could smell the BBQ cooking about 1/2 mile away.

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