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.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.