Over the weekend it was suggested that free agent reliever Jonathan Broxton was incredibly close to signing with a new team. Most believed that the ogreish figure was bound for a city close in proximity to his home town of Atlanta. But while names like Miami and Tampa Bay were tossed around, no one even mentioned Kansas City.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Broxton is heading to the Royals on a one year deal worth $4 million, pending a very important physical. The terms of the contract make sense considering last season’s elbow surgery and rehabilitation. Broxton is likely seeking the opportunity to re-establish his value after a lost year.
As Rosenthal suggests, the addition of Broxton, assuming he’s healthy and still effective, gives the team freedom to potentially move Joakim Soria to the rotation. The Rangers made a similar move in signing Joe Nathan, an acquisition that allowed them to transfer Neftali Feliz from the bullpen into the rotation. However, the Royals aren’t the Rangers.
And there are already several suggestions out there that Broxton was picked up as a set up man. Concerns about the deal don’t end there though.
Despite a well praised farm system, the Royals are unlikely to compete this season in a division with the only one year older Detroit Tigers, a much improved Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox who can’t possibly be as bad as last year. While I would like it a whole lot more if the team was indeed considering moving Soria and Aaron Crow to the rotation where their value has the potential to dramatically increase, it isn’t necessary to pay Broxton to do that. The bullpen is likely the least of their immediate worries.
Sure, a good performance from the big reliever in the first half of the season could translate into trade value. And as Drew Fairservice pointed out yesterday, there’s a lot indicating that Broxton could bounce back. However, this will be under the new collective bargaining agreement where the potential for draft pick compensation for a player of Broxton’s ilk no longer exists and dramatically decreases his value on the trade block from what it would’ve been a year ago.
It’s as though Royals GM Dayton Moore finally figured out how to use the system to his benefit, but the system changed and he’s still attempting to operate under the old one.
There are suggestions that the Broxton signing could lead to more transactions in the immediate future for the Royals, so, like every good blog post during this time of year, let’s end things by suggesting that either:
- Time will tell; or
- We’ll just have to wait and see.