Reactions to the Jonathan Broxton Signing

The Royals, to the surprise of many, signed reliever Jonathan Broxton today to a one-year deal. On its own, it’s a bit out of nowhere, but powered by Twitter and messageboard discussion, the signing has taken on a life of its own.

Let’s check out a few reactions first, then let’s join the crowds as we speculate on what comes next.

First, FanSided’s Joe Soriano at Call to the Pen wrote a piece about the move:

 

A few other reactions from Twitter and around:

Rany Jazayerli


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Jim Bowden


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And Jeff Passan (who said he “love, love, love(d)” the deal)

 

I’ve always been a Broxton fan. Anybody with his kind of strikeout potential can have a spot in a bullpen. For the Dodgers, he went from being one of the best setup men in baseball to taking over their closer’s role.

After a stellar 2009, he dropped off in 2010 and lost most of 2011 due to injury and a case of lost command. He’s not without risk, as questionable usage in Los Angeles by Joe Torre and his size could mean he doesn’t rebound at all. But he’s a risk worth taking, especially for the $4 million price tag – this Royals team has plenty of payroll space to take a gamble. Consider Broxton as a very big lottery ticket. If he hits, the Royals could have something.

The next step is what has everyone talking. Do the Royals now look to trade Joakim Soria? Does this foretell Aaron Crow‘s ascent to the starting rotation? Dayton Moore has already stated that Broxton will set up Soria and that Crow will get a chance to start in 2012. Now, as Rany points out, the Royals have overloaded an area where they were already strong. With solid rookie seasons from Greg Holland, Louis Coleman, Crow and even a good year from Blake Wood, the Royals have plenty of talent in the bullpen.

So why build that up even more?

For one, you can never have enough talent. Injuries, regressions – they always pop up.

Now, as the Royals head towards the winter meetings next week, they have plenty of bullpen help for any teams that may come calling. They have flexibility to make a move. Maybe that means Soria is on the move. Maybe it means Broxton ends up the closer. Maybe all it means is that the Royals have another arm capable of hitting triple digits.

Broxton signed for one year, so the Royals aren’t locked down, and if he shows he can still shut down rallies, by July, the Royals could have either Broxton or Soria available for contending teams at the deadline. Considering that many Royals fans were comfortable with the idea of trading Soria before the signing, if they traded both Soria and a renewed Broxton, would anyone be surprised if Coleman, Holland or perhaps even Kelvin Herrera closed for a while and had success?

As for Crow, he’s stated that he thinks he can start and doesn’t need to change much of his approach. I still want to see more of a third pitch, as he’s almost exclusively a fastball/slider pitcher, but he can strike people out and gets grounders, so he has value as long as that’s the case. If he doesn’t cut it in the rotation, the Royals still have the option to put him back in the bullpen.

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Topics: Aaron Crow, AL Central, Baseball, Joakim Soria, Jonathan Broxton, Kansas City Royals, KC, KC Royals, MLB, Royals

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  • jim fetterolf

    Kind of nice to read pieces that don’t mention Colby Rasmus. For the guy at Stew, I would remind that the small market Royals currently have quite a bit of payroll room, so $4 million is a lottery ticket at worst and an excellent investment at best. (paragraph) I like the Broxton signing, gives the team space to move Crow to Omaha to convert to starter if needed and, with the low innings Royals starters tend to post, gives an extra big arm for the 7th and 8th innings. Kelvin Herrera, Broxton, and Holland bridging to the hopefully rejuvenated Soria could lesson the impact of Duffy, Paulino, and Sanchez hitting 120 pitches in five or six innings. If any team needs an extra set-up man it will be the Royals this year. My guess is that is what GMDM is thinking. I agree with him. Good off season thus far.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf I just put this on twitter, but the Royals can roll out Holland/Broxton/Soria after six innings…and that doesn’t use Coleman or Collins or, if he gets in gear, Jeffress.

  • jim fetterolf

    @michael.allen.engel True, but you can’t use all three every night. That’s where the depth comes in. Of course, it’s possible that a couple of two or three of the starters become consistent seven or eight inning guys to relieve the strain and there will be blowouts from either side for a long reliever to get some innings, but the Royals seemed to have some problems getting the ball to Holland for the 8th. (paragraph) Coleman will probably be in the mix, Jeffress I just don’t know. He’s in love with the radar gun and the harder he throws the straighter the pitches get. I see him in Omaha to start the year as back up for injury, probably joined by Chapman and Woods, maybe even Collins if he can’t gain command. Interesting to see how the new pitching coach deals with the walkers, that could make the season if he can teach them to command and control. I’m ready for spring training:)

  • jim fetterolf

    Kind of nice to read pieces that don’t mention Colby Rasmus. For the guy at Stew, I would remind that the small market Royals currently have quite a bit of payroll room, so $4 million is a lottery ticket at worst and an excellent investment at best. (paragraph) I like the Broxton signing, gives the team space to move Crow to Omaha to convert to starter if needed and, with the low innings Royals starters tend to post, gives an extra big arm for the 7th and 8th innings. Kelvin Herrera, Broxton, and Holland bridging to the hopefully rejuvenated Soria could lesson the impact of Duffy, Paulino, and Sanchez hitting 120 pitches in five or six innings. If any team needs an extra set-up man it will be the Royals this year. My guess is that is what GMDM is thinking. I agree with him. Good off season thus far.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf I just put this on twitter, but the Royals can roll out Holland/Broxton/Soria after six innings…and that doesn’t use Coleman or Collins or, if he gets in gear, Jeffress.

  • jim fetterolf

    @michael.allen.engel True, but you can’t use all three every night. That’s where the depth comes in. Of course, it’s possible that a couple of two or three of the starters become consistent seven or eight inning guys to relieve the strain and there will be blowouts from either side for a long reliever to get some innings, but the Royals seemed to have some problems getting the ball to Holland for the 8th. (paragraph) Coleman will probably be in the mix, Jeffress I just don’t know. He’s in love with the radar gun and the harder he throws the straighter the pitches get. I see him in Omaha to start the year as back up for injury, probably joined by Chapman and Woods, maybe even Collins if he can’t gain command. Interesting to see how the new pitching coach deals with the walkers, that could make the season if he can teach them to command and control. I’m ready for spring training:)

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf Chapman is someone to watch…wouldn’t be surprised to see him up before September.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf Chapman is someone to watch…wouldn’t be surprised to see him up before September.

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