Report: Jonathan Broxton to sign with the Royals

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals and Jonathan Broxton have agreed to a one-year deal.  It’s done pending a physical. UPDATE: Heyman says it’s a $4 million deal.

A physical isn’t purely academic in Broxton’s case given that he’s coming off elbow surgery — and you have to figure the doctor is going to yell at him about his cholesterol — but assuming that’s done, this should be a nice pickup for the Royals.  Broxton wants to make good so he can be a well-paid closer again in 2013, so it’s likely an incentive-laden deal.

The more interesting question will be his role. The Royals obviously have Joakim Soria closing things out, but he could be really valuable as a trade candidate or possibly could be converted into a starter.  People have been saying it about him and the Royals for years, but a team where the Royals are now don’t need An Established Closer.

Worst case, though: the Royals bullpen — already as strength — gets stronger.  That sound you hear is even more people preparing to jump on the “The Royals Are Lookin’ Frisky” bandwagon next spring.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.