Reds “in serious talks” to re-sign Jonathan Broxton

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds are “in serious talks” to re-sign free agent reliever Jonathan Broxton and adds that the contract is “expected to be a multi-year deal.”

Broxton was traded from Kansas City to Cincinnati on July 31 and the big right-hander threw 22 innings for the Reds with a 2.82 ERA and 20/3 K/BB ratio.  He hadn’t been nearly that dominant for the Royals, posting a 25/14 K/BB ratio in 36 innings, but still managed a 2.27 ERA in his first taste of the American League.

Re-signing Broxton dramatically increases the odds of Aroldis Chapman being given an opportunity to move from the bullpen to the rotation in 2013, because a few weeks ago Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said the decision “depends on if we re-sign Broxton and [Ryan] Madson.”

Broxton has plenty of closing experience for the Dodgers and Royals, and could step into the ninth-inning role for the Reds while Chapman gives starting full time a try.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.

Video: Blue Jays walk off against the Athletics again, this time with a grand slam

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The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.

Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.