Two years ago, Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton was amongst the best relievers in the game and looked like a sure bet to receive a multi-year deal once he hit free agency at the end of the 2011 season.
Then Matt Stairs took his manhood in the NLCS, and Broxton hasn’t been the same since.
Broxton looked to have a bounce-back season in 2011 and perhaps cash in at the end of this season. Unfortunately, it looks like Broxton won’t be cashing in any time soon.
The Dodgers have shut down their former closer for at least another three weeks after Broxton’s elbow stiffened up on him during a rehab assignment last Sunday. Broxton did go for an MRI on Monday, so the results couldn’t have been that great.
To me, it sounds like he is headed for Tommy John surgery.
If you take this news and combine it with the fact that Broxton had a 5.68 ERA, 1.90 WHIP and was striking out a career-low 7.1 per nine, he went from a $30 million relief pitcher to a “low-risk, high-reward” candidate this offseason.
Considering nobodies like Joaquin Benoit were getting $16.5 million over three years, I don’t think I am too far off thinking Broxton would get $30 million if he was still performing like it was 2009. But this isn’t 2009 anymore, and Broxton seems destined to fall into the category that most relievers fall into: great for a couple of years and then burn out.
And yet another reason to appreciate Mariano Rivera.