Brewers Acquire Jonathan Broxton

1:49pm: Broxton was a waiver claim, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes (Twitter links). Reds GM Walt Jocketty says that the two teams have agreed on one of the players to be named later and have a list of players for the other.

12:49pm: The Brewers have bolstered their bullpen by acquiring right-hander Jonathan Broxton from the division-rival Reds in exchange for a pair of players to be named later, the teams have announced.

Jonathan Broxton

Broxton, 30, is in the second year of a three-year, $21MM contract with the Reds. He’s owed about $1.19MM of his $7MM salary this season before earning $9MM in 2015. His contract also contained a $9MM club option for 2016, which comes with a $1MM buyout. However, Broxton’s contract has a clause that causes that club option to become a mutual option with a $2MM buyout if he is traded, meaning he is now guaranteed $12.19MM through the end of the 2015 campaign and can reach free agency sooner even with a strong performance next year.

The former Dodgers closer is enjoying a strong year with the Reds. Broxton opened the season as Cincinnati’s closer with Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list, and he’s pitched well in a setup role since that time. In 48 1/3 innings this season, Broxton has pitched to a 1.86 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 45 percent ground-ball rate. Broxton has been fortunate on balls in play (.221 BABIP) and home runs (5.0% homer-to-flyball ratio), causing sabermetric ERA estimators such as FIP (3.52), xFIP (4.26) and SIERA (3.79) to rate his work less favorably than his actual run prevention rate would indicate.

Milwaukee’s bullpen could certainly use an upgrade, as they’ve recently lost both Tyler Thornburg and Jim Henderson to season-ending injuries. Broxton will provide manager Ron Roenicke with an experienced relief arm, as he figures to aid Will Smith and Brandon Kintzler in bridging the gap from a solid rotation to closer Francisco Rodriguez.

It’s unclear if Broxton had cleared waivers or whether the Brewers claimed him, although given his relatively large salary and the trade provision that increases his option buyout, he seems like a candidate to have cleared waivers. The budget-conscious Reds will likely save some, if not all of Broxton’s remaining salary, which will provide general manager Walt Jocketty with additional flexibility in the coming offseason. The Reds are expected to shop at least one of their starters this offseason, according to multiple reports, as Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon are all set to hit free agency following the 2015 season.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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