St. Louis Cardinals decline Jonathan Broxton’s 2016 option


In a series of moves, the St. Louis Cardinals announced on Monday that they’ve declined the 2016 option on reliever Jonathan Broxton. Opting to pay Broxton’s $2-million buyout will save the Cardinals $7-million, as the two-time All-Star was set to make $9-million in 2016.

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The Cardinals acquired Broxton from the Brewers at this year’s July trade deadline, as part of a series of moves general manager John Mozeliak made to strengthen the club’s bullpen. The move largely payed off, as Broxton pitched to a 2.66 ERA across 26 appearances (23.2 innings) with St. Louis down the stretch. He was, albeit, inconsistent, blowing three leads and one save while allowing runs in six of 26 appearances.

While Broxton’s chances of landing a $9-million salary or a multiyear deal are questionable at best, there will certainly be a market for his services this winter. With the success of teams with strong bullpens like Kansas City, Texas, etc., the copycat strategy has taken full effect with bullpens over the last few offseasons. Teams like the Nationals, Tigers and others will likely at least take fliers on Broxton, and he should have no trouble finding a reasonable salary and at least a somewhat prominent role in a bullpen as several clubs look to strengthen or completely rebuild their relief corps.

Broxton will duke it out with the likes of Tyler Clippard, Darren O’Day and other non-closers that will be on the hunt for closer jobs this winter. One would think that Clippard and O’Day have the upper hand, and a seventh- or eighth-inning role for Broxton seems more likely. However, a team looking to add a closer on the cheap could match up with the 31-year-old to offer him the role he wants in exchange for a salary that fits within their budget.

Next: Orioles Interested In Daniel Murphy

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