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:

  1. Time will tell; or
  2. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Comments (9)

  1. Rather shocking. I don’t think the Royals were ever mentioned as one of the 11-13 teams interested in Broxton. MLB Trade Rumors and the whole internet has let me down.

  2. As a local representative of said internet, allow me to extend our apologies.

  3. This deal is certainly odd – for only $4M I am little disappointed that the Jays weren’t the one signing him. I think its fair to say that at his age and his past success, if he was healthy he likely would have signed for 3 to 4 times this much.

  4. What exactly happened to Soria last year? I can’t say I follow the Royals very closely, but the drop-off is pretty odd for a young guy with such a strong record of success before 2011.

  5. Just because he signed for 4M in KC doesn’t mean the Jays would have had him for that.

    Also, do the Jays really need to be tossing rehab innings to someone that costs that much? How much did the fans try and make them regret that with Francisco?

  6. I remember hearing, I think here, that he wanted to be closer to his home in Atlanta. So it probably would have cost more. I think since the jays most likely won’t be competing this year, the only way it makes sense to sign him for one year is if you know you are going to trade him. If the jays were not planning to trade him then what do you do at the end of the season? Let him walk if be has a bad year or if he has a good year compete with other teams trying to sign him? All the while you are taking innings away from a potential long term relief pitcher or closer. Without the draft pick it is too risky in terms of money and innings lost to potential other pitchers to sign a rehab pitcher like Broxton in the hope of flipping him. I hope the jays don’t sign any of these big name closers and develop from within where there is more control.

  7. Not a lot of love for Broxton here. Of course the non-acronymable FamousAmazingGuy raises a good point that we don’t have the medical reports on Broxton, but I’d have wanted the Jays to top this contract.

  8. A one year deal for an utterly reasonable amount for a high-upside buy low candidate? I mean, I get that they’re not gaming the system or anything, but I don’t see how this can be viewed as anything but a pretty solid pick up.

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