Jonathan Broxton signs one-year deal with Kansas City Royals

Three seasons ago Jonathan Broxton was one of the top closers in baseball, using a blistering fastball to help power the Los Angeles Dodgers to the National League Championship Series.


Jonathan Broxton will move into a set-up role for Joakim Soria and the Royals. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Broxton has reached a one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals, pending a physical, as first reported by Fox Sports analyst Ken Rosenthal. The deal is worth a guaranteed $4 million.

Only 27, Broxton was limited to 12 2/3 innings in 2011 and had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow in September. The Royals will be hoping he can return to the form — or something close to it — he displayed in 2009 when he registered 36 saves and posted a 13.5 strikeout per nine ratio.

Broxton’s ERA ballooned from 2.61 in 2009 to 4.04 in 2010 and 5.68 last season when he managed only seven saves and was replaced by a slew of moderately-effective Dodgers relievers.

It became clear Los Angeles considered Broxton expendable, but Kansas City was hardly an expected landing spot as the Royals already boast a proven closer in Joakim Soria, who has 133 saves over the last four seasons. The two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers were among the 10 or so other teams rumored to be interested in the two-time All-Star.

“We are delighted to add someone as talented as Jonathan to our bullpen,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “He will be used in a setup role to closer Joakim Soria and will help solidify what we feel is a young and talented bullpen.”

That bullpen also features 2009 first-round pick Aaron Crow who had eight holds and a 2.76 ERA in 62 innings during his rookie campaign in 2001.

If Broxton can become a reliable set-up man for Soria, or move into a long reliever role, he would help the Royals build their pitching staff from back to front and bolster a roster looking to reach the .500 mark in a season for the first time since 2003.

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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