For now the Reds are going with closer-by-committee in Aroldis Chapman’s absence, but manager Bryan Price said yesterday that Jonathan Broxton will take over ninth-inning duties once the big right-hander returns from the disabled list in a week or so.
Broxton was mediocre in 34 appearances for the Reds last season and then underwent elbow surgery in August that he’s still coming back from, so putting him right into the closer role is a bold call for Pryce.
Of course, the Reds overpaid to sign Broxton last offseason, giving him $21 million for three years, and Pryce no doubt values his previous closing experience with the Dodgers and Royals. Broxton has 111 career saves, including 36 in 2009 and 27 in 2012.
Chapman is hoping to return from facial fractures in late May.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.