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.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.