Closer Jonathan Broxton and Cincinnati Reds Agree to $21 Million Deal

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Closer Jonathan Broxton and Cincinnati Reds Agree to $21 Million Deal
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Jonathan Broxton

According to Joe Kay of the Associated Press, the Cincinnati Reds have signed closer Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21 million contract.

This transaction ties up a loose end and does a couple of things.

It sets in motion the plan to turn Aroldis Chapman into a starter in 2013. It also curtails all searches for a relief pitcher as Ryan Madson had signed with the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week.

So who will be the odd man out of the starting rotation? An educated guess would be Mike Leake.

Leake had a year that would not be considered solid by any means. His record in 2012 was 8-9, with a hefty 4.58 ERA. He was also hit pretty hard, giving up 201 hits in 179 innings.

With the front end of the rotation being held by Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, the only other possible picks for starters would be Bronson Arroyo or Homer Bailey.

Broxton pitched in 25 games for the Reds in 2012 after being picked up at the trade deadline. He had a record of 3-3 with an ERA of 2.82. His save ratio was four out of six attempts. Two blown saves in six tries does not sound that impressive.

Broxton's best year in terms of saves was 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He closed the deal 36 times out of 42 opportunities. That season, he ran up a record of 7-2 with a 2.61 ERA and had a magnificent WHIP of 0.961.

He also made the All-Star team in 2009 and 2010 for the National League.

Reds' assistant general manager Bob Miller said, "Nothing's in stone right now, we told (Chapman) before he left to prepare because that's the hardest part—starter. When we talked to Jonathan we said he was going to be at the back end of the bullpen. What happens depends on spring training and how things play out in the offseason."

The structure of Broxton's contract calls for him to receive $4 Million in 2013, $7 Million in 2014 and $9 Million in 2015. There's a club option for another year at $9 million with a $1 million buyout.

Broxton is also provided with a limited no-trade provision.

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