The Cardinals have released struggling right-hander Jonathan Broxton, GM John Mozeliak told reporters (Twitter link via Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Right-hander John Gant has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take his spot in the St. Louis bullpen.
Broxton, who’ll turn 33 in a little more than two weeks, has been roughed up for a 6.89 ERA with the Redbirds through 16 1/3 innings this season. In that time, the former Dodgers closer has yielded 12 earned runs on the strength of 23 hits and 11 walks (two intentional).
Broxton’s 42.6 percent ground-ball rate is the second-lowest mark he’s posted in any full season of his big league career, as well. His 11.9 percent swinging-strike rate is his best since 2009, however, and he’s still averaging better than 94 mph on his heater, which helped him tally 16 punchouts in those 16 1/3 frames. That, of course, is a modest silver lining, though it does at least create a bit of optimism that the veteran could at least resurface as a serviceable relief arm.
The veteran Broxton is playing out the second season of a two-year, $7.5MM contract with the Cardinals, which guarantees him $3.75MM this year. The Cards will be on the hook for the remainder of that salary even if Broxton signs with another club after formally clearing release waivers. A new team would only be responsible for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for any time Broxton spent on its Major League roster. (That sum would be subtracted from the remaining $2.54MM that the Cardinals owe Broxton.)
Gant, 24, was one of three prospects acquired by the Cardinals this offseason in the trade that sent left-hander Jaime Garcia to the Braves. He struggled a bit in 50 big league innings with Atlanta last season but has pitched to a very strong 2.19 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 50 percent ground-ball rate through three starts (12 1/3 innings) with the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate this year. He missed the first several weeks of the season due to a groin strain.