Another one of the Dodgers core players has moved on. Jonathan Broxton signed a 1-year $4 million contract with $1 million in incentives with the Royals. This may be a risky gamble for Kansas City since Broxton is coming off of arthroscopic elbow surgery and only pitched 12 innings last season. The risk may pay off if Broxton is healthy and somehow regains his dominating fastball that he once hurled. As Dodger fans, we know better than anyone else how far Broxton fell from his lights out season in 2009 to his meltdown filled second half in 2010 and his extremely disappointing 2011. We witnessed his once 100-mph fastball slow down to the mid-90s, and his confidence waned along with it.
The Dodgers will have no problem filling the closer role once held by Broxton. Javy Guerra stepped up when Broxton fell from grace last season. He will be nicely paired with the fireballer Kenley Jansen, the converted catcher from Curacao, who had a breakout year and impressed us with his dominance and strikeout blitz. In 80 2/3 big league innings, Jansen has accumulated 137 strikeouts with only 41 walks and a 1.03 WHIP
In 2011, during the last season of a 2-year contract, Broxton made $7 million for his 7 saves in the 14 games he played in. That’s $1 million per save.
The Royals are going to use Broxton in a set-up role with Joakim Soria as the closer. The Royals do have quite a few good young relievers in their pen, so when Broxton melts down (and he will) they won’t have to scramble much. If Broxton has a resurgence then the Royals will have an even stronger bullpen.
Broxton debuted in 2005 for the Dodgers and was 25-20 with 84 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 386 career appearances. It is sort of sad that Broxton couldn’t recover from Joe Torre’s overuse, but perhaps he can find a niche in Kansas City. For more thoughts about Broxton’s 9th inning meltdowns and how he transgressed from an elite closer, read our previous post about JB:
So long, Brox! Enjoy the Kansas City barbeque!