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2011 MLB Free Agency: Kansas City Royals Sign Closer Jonathan Broxton

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2011 MLB Free Agency: Kansas City Royals Sign Closer Jonathan Broxton
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Broxton's large 6-4, 300 pound frame was also a point of concern for the Dodgers in re-signing him

According to MLBTradeRumors, earlier today the Kansas City Royals officially signed former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton.

Broxton, who was a highly sought-after player this offseason, had a poor 2011 season after missing most of the season due to injury. Broxton only appeared in 14 games last year for Los Angeles, recording seven saves and a 5.68 ERA.

The reason there was so much interest in Broxton was because of the seasons he had before his injury-laden 2011, as last year was seen to be mostly an aberration.

Even though he was mainly a closer with the Dodgers, Broxton will assume the role of setup man behind Kansas City's established closer, young right-hander Joakim Soria.

The Royals will he hoping that these two players can overcome their poor 2011 seasons (Soria blew seven saves and had a mediocre 4.03 ERA last season.) and return to their form from a few seasons ago.

Broxton's top season was in 2009 when he racked up 36 saves and 114 strikeouts in only 76 innings. Soria's top season was in 2010 when he converted 43 of 46 save chances with a stellar 1.78 ERA.

Getting Broxton was huge for the Royals' front office and means that they now have the best 8th-9th inning tandem in the AL Central and possibly even in the whole American League. The signings were also a bit surprising due to the Royals' location, one of the smallest markets in MLB.

However, credit should be given to Royals' general manager Dayton Moore for finding space in his team's small budget to strengthen one of the most important parts of a baseball team, the end of the bullpen.

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