The National League Central-leading Brewers just made a pretty significant upgrade to their bullpen.
From Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com comes word that Milwaukee has acquired right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton in a waiver trade with the Reds. No word yet on Cincinnati’s return package.
Broxton owns a dominant 1.86 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 48 1/3 innings (51 appearances) this season. He is owed $9 million in 2015 with a $9 million mutual option (or $2 million buyout) for the 2016 campaign.
The 30-year-old will slide into a setup role behind Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez, who is second in the majors with 39 saves. Milwaukee currently owns a one-game lead over the Cardinals (and a two-game lead over the Pirates) in the NL Central standings.
The Reds have fallen to 8 1/2 games back and have now pushed a big chunk of change off their books.
UPDATE, 1:51 p.m. ET: MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy says the Reds will get two players to be named later.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.
It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.
At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”
Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.