Cincinnati Reds Should Deal Jonathan Broxton If Payroll Cut Needed
Broxton proved to be a key member of the Reds’ bullpen for the 2012 team that won the NL Central. The Reds thought enough of Broxton to sign him to a three-year, $21-million deal that essentially paid him closer money.
But when the time came to actually make Broxton the closer, the Reds balked at converting current closer Aroldis Chapman into a starter. Unless the Reds intend to make Broxton a closer for the remaining year of his contract in 2015, the Reds should trade him and free $9 million in salary for next year.
Broxton has produced an excellent 2014 season after returning from surgery for repair of a torn flexor tendon in his forearm. In 50 games, Broxton has posted a 1.52 ERA over 47-plus innings pitched this year. Broxton no longer has a high 90s fastball, but still has enough zip and breaking ball repertoire to establish himself as a closer for another team.
Given the steep cost and short duration left on Broxton’s contract, the Reds wouldn’t likely land more than a mid-tier prospect or a roster bubble position player under team control, but trading Broxton would free up money the Reds could use to help keep the Reds’ starting rotation in tact for at least one more year.
With the Reds best chance of an extended postseason run coming to an end after 2015 due to the free agency of most of the starting rotation, whatever the Reds can do to keep one of baseball’s best rotations intact should be done.
And that would mean trading Broxton in the offseason.