By Matt Snyder
Jonathan Broxton has agreed to a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, the team announced Tuesday morning. Scott Miller of CBSSports.com has learned it's for $4 million, but performance bonuses for number of games pitched could push the deal to $5 million. At least 12 teams were interested and Broxton strongly considered the Rays and Rangers before signing with K.C. The deal is pending a physical, which will take place Wednesday, but Broxton says his arm feels "great," a source told Miller.
What if Broxton is healthy and able to return to form? He was one of the most dominant closers in baseball for a stretch, before injuries hampered him. The Royals already have a solid closer in Joakim Soria. He had an off-year in 2011, true, but he's only 27. There are some teams in the market for a proven closer but no money to spend on one (the Reds come to mind, specifically), so Soria could be pretty good trade bait.
For now, though, the Royals are planning to go with Soria as closer and Broxton as his setup man. Hard-throwing youngster Aaron Crow will then likely move into the starting rotation. And if Broxton is having a good season and the Royals aren't come July, he could be the trade bait, not Soria. So the signing opens up several options.
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He had minor arthroscopic surgery on his throwing (right) elbow in September to shave a bone spur and remove loose bodies. He's expected to start throwing in late December and be ready for spring training.
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