It’s finally official.
The Royals have finally done something that the fanbase can approve of outside of ridding themselves of Jeff Francoeur and calling up Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi.
Around 2:30 pm CT, the Royals shipped closer Jonathan Broxton – aka Big Buffet (a tip of the hat to Sean Thornton for that one) – to the Cincinnati Reds for Double-A RHP J.C. Sulbaran and Triple-A LHP Donnie Joseph.
Trading Jonathan Broxton was inevitable. He’s on a one-year, $4 million deal, was sheduled to be a free agent after the season, and was putting up admirable numbers. He had 23 saves and a 2.27 ERA through 36 IP. But to say his outings were uneventful would be a bold-faced lie. But with Aroldis Chapman nailing games down in Cincy, it seems like Broxton will be serve as a right-handed set-up man to complement the Reds’ left-handed set-upper Sean Marshall.
JC Sulbaran, 22, is a 6’2″, 220 lbs., starting pitcher who pitched for the Netherlands in the last World Baseball Classic. Scouts say he projects as a potential middle-of-the-rotation pitcher who has two plus-pitches: a low-90’s fastball with good movement and a solid curveball. He has struggled a bit this year in Double-A to the tune of a 7-7 record in 19 starts with an ERA of 4.04. He has managed to strikeout 111 hitters in 104.2 IP, but has also surrendered 54 free passes. Coming into the season, J.C. was the Reds no. 12 prospect according to Baseball America.
- Fun fact: Sulbaran was Eric Hosmer’s highschool teammate.
Donnie Joseph is a 6’3″, 24 year old lefty reliever who has split time at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season. He possesses a plus-slider and a low-90’s fastball, both of which could get him to the mound in Kansas City sooner rather than later. Through 44 appearances this season (52.1 IP), Donnie is 8-3 with a 1.72 ERA and 18 saves with a 4:1 K:BB ratio and an impressive 0.994 WHIP. He was ranked by Baseball America as 27th best prospect in the Reds organization coming into the season.
All in all, getting two prospects with potential for a half-season from Broxton is a steal. Right now, at 41-60, the Royals currently don’t have the need for a legitimate closer. I’m assuming a trio of Aaron Crow, Greg Holland, and Kelvin Herrera will get the majority of save opportunites from here on out.
Stay tuned for any more potential moves – hopefully involving Jeff Francoeur and Yuniesky Betancourt (both of whom are out the the lineup tonight).