The New York Mets are unlikely to upgrade the pitching rotation for the 2012 season, but the same may not be said for the bullpen. Relief pitching has been an area of weakness – among several others – for the New York Mets and it is is a weakness that Sandy Alderson has expressed determination in shoring up. The New York Mets should take a long look at Jonathan Broxton and vice versa.
Jonathan Broxton is currently recovering from elbow surgery to remove a bone spur and loose bodies. Despite the injury, I think it makes a lot of sense for the Mets to bring Broxton aboard to compete for the closer’s gig. Currently, it looks like Bobby Parnell might have the upper hand on the ninth inning duties in 2012, but that isn’t saying too much, is it? Broxton isn’t a lock to return to his stud level by 2012, but would probably still present an upgrade over any incumbents. There aren’t many options that present the upside and value that Broxton does/would. I can’t think of any others off of the top of my head at least. The Mets could probably get Broxton to Queens with an incentive laden one-year deal and perhaps some sort of option. Nothing that would break the bank.
What Broxton wants is a chance to prove himself and put himself in a position to collect a significantly larger pay day on his next contract. I imagine that Broxton feels the best path to that new deal is in a “high visibility” role – a.k.a. 8th or 9th inning work. No offense to our guys, but Broxton should not have too much trouble finding that spot in this relief corp. The Mets are not the only team that could provide Broxton with the type of role that he needs/wants, but nobody else can provide the high leverage role in a market like New York. If Broxton really wants the best shot at convincing GMs around the league to shell out significant bucks in 2013 he’ll need to perform at a high level first and foremost, but he’ll also want to strongly consider taking that high level of performance to the Big Apple and the New York Mets.