Broxton, Royals agree to 1-year deal
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Reliever Jonathan Broxton and the Kansas City Royals agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract that guarantees the righthander $4 million, solidifying one of the big league’s youngest bullpens and providing a setup man for closer Joakim Soria.
The agreement, which is pending a physical, also includes performance bonuses.
Kansas City was willing to take a chance on Broxton despite being limited to just 14 games for the Dodgers last season because of elbow trouble. A two-time All-Star, the 27-year-old Broxton made $7 million last season as part of an $11-million, two-year deal.
“We are delighted to add someone as talented as Jonathan to our bullpen,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement.
Broxton will be introduced in Kansas City today.
Several teams were interested in Broxton, despite the fact he was just 1-2 with seven saves and a 5.68 ERA in 14 games for Los Angeles last season. Broxton was placed on the disabled list May 6 with bone spurs in his right elbow that required surgery Sept. 19.
He’s expected to be ready to pitch by spring training.
The Royals return their promising young starting lineup largely intact, but pitching was another matter. The rotation was spotty at best, and the bullpen squandered far too many leads before it could get the ball to Soria, who also had a down season.
That’s why Moore has spent the offseason remodeling the entire staff.
He traded outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was coming off a career year, to the San Francisco Giants for left-handed starter Jonathan Sanchez and another pitching prospect. Moore then signed free agent Bruce Chen — the Royals’ best starter the past two seasons — to a $9-million, two-year deal.
Now, the Royals have added a seasoned reliever to their young bullpen.
Broxton was an All-Star in 2009 and 2010 for the Dodgers, picking up the save for the National League in the 2010 All-Star game. Since making his debut for Los Angeles in 2005, Broxton has gone 25-20 with 84 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 386 appearances, all in relief.
His strikeout ratio of 11.55 per nine innings is the thirdhighest in the big leagues since 2005 among pitchers with at least 350 innings, giving Kansas City the kind of powerthrowing arm out of the bullpen the Royals have lacked the last several years.