With news that Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton might be on the disabled list until June, it’s only a reminder that the 6'4", 300-pound behemoth has yet to overcome his struggles that date back to last season.
The two-time All-Star has the highest earned run average in his career (5.68) and is battling arm trouble for the first time. He’s no longer as feared as he once was when he entered ball games, and now he instead strikes fear in the heart of Dodgers fans.
Broxton’s a free agent after this season, so it might be time for the team to start exploring some trade options while he still has value. The Dodgers are apparently grooming Kenley Jansen to be a future closer, and with Vicente Padilla/Matt Guerrier temporarily filling the role, it’s fair to assume that if Broxton doesn’t return to form once healthy, his Dodgers days could be numbered.
Here are some possible destinations for Broxton if he ends up on the trading block.
Brandon League does have nine saves, but with three consecutive blown saves and a 7.31 earned run average, he’s got some issues that might make the Mariners an attractive suitor for Broxton.
The last Dodger to head up to Seattle was Adrian Beltre, who never regained the form he had once he left. It’s difficult to assume Broxton won’t meet the same fate, but a change of scenery and less pressure can only help him rediscover his mojo.
The Red Sox have their own share of issues with current closer with Jonathan Papelbon, and have been in talks to move him for some time. A swap with Broxton makes sense because both could benefit from a change of scenery
Broxton is four years younger than Papelbon and cheaper ($7 million to $11 million for Papelbon) so Boston could free up some salary while shoring up their bullpen for the next five years. An alternative could be renting Broxton for the year and letting him audition for the future.
Before he went on the disabled list, Astros closer Brandon Lyon blew a major-league leading four saves. The Elias Sports Bureau also reported that the Astros have the worst start in the saves department since 1969, with only five in 16 opportunities.
All of this makes Broxton look like Giants closer Brian Wilson in the eyes of the Astros, and he would be greeted as a much-needed upgrade despite his struggles. Maybe the Dodgers could sweeten the deal by offering Houston native James Loney in the process?
The Cardinals have struggled all season with their closer situation. Ryan Franklin lost his job after blowing four saves and manager Tony La Russa hasn’t decided on a clear-cut replacement between Mitchell Boggs (above), Eduardo Sanchez and others.
Broxton would not only bring some stability, but as one of the best hitting teams this season, the Cardinals could offer some attractive pieces to the Dodgers to pull off a trade that could add some life to their miserable offense.
This is a destination more so because the Dodgers should look at getting Joakim Soria more than it being a better fit for Broxton. But Broxton might fit in well with another young and talented squad, and his playoff experience could be valuable.
Soria and Broxton both have similar numbers at the same age, and their best days are still ahead of them. This might even be a good multi-player trade option, considering both teams have valuable young talent.