After the Rangers dropped out of the discussion and the Orioles and Giants ended up being fringe trade candidates, the Reds stepped in with half an hour to go before the non-waiver trade deadline and acquired Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, according to Ken Rosenthal.
The deal is still pending a physical.
The Royals had been trying to move Broxton, the most valuable trade chip they had (that they’d made available) and various suitors were talking with them, but the Reds add him to their already strong bullpen.
Broxton saved 23 games in 27 opportunities, though his walk rate and strikeout rate haven’t been stellar, and some predict a regression in his performance. Regardless, his ERA is 2.27 after 35.2 innings. This was a big part of why the Royals signed him this offseason to a one-year deal – to let him rebuild his value after injury-plagued years in Los Angeles and to potentially trade him for value at the deadline.
Early reports suggest that J.C. Sulbaran, a right-handed pitcher at Double A, is the return for Broxton. He was a 30th round pick in 2008 and high school teammate of Eric Hosmer. There may be more in the deal, as well. Here’s a brief scouting report on Sulbaran, who was an All-Star in the Southern League. The Royals also got left-handed reliever Donnie Joseph, who was in Triple A and another high strikeout pitcher.
With his departure, the Royals will likely put Greg Holland in as the closer, though Kelvin Herrera and Aaron Crow could be options. All three were potential fits for the role in spring training when Joakim Soria went on the DL with a torn UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery.