Cardinals add more bullpen help, get Jonathan Broxton from Brewers

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Not satisfied with Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek as their only bullpen reinforcement, the Cardinals have acquired right-hander Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers in exchange for minor leaguer Mailk Collymore.

Milwaukee got Broxton from Cincinnati as a late-August trade pickup last year and he ended up throwing 47 innings with a 5.55 ERA for the Brewers, but his 49/12 K/BB ratio is a lot more impressive and his average fastball still clocks in at 95 miles per hour. St. Louis will use Broxton in a setup role in front of closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Cishek is under team control via arbitration for 2016 if the Cardinals feel like keeping him at a relative high salary and Broxton’s contract includes a $9 million option or $2 million buyout for 2016, so it’s possible (but unlikely?) neither will be merely two-month rentals.

Collymore is a 20-year-old outfielder playing his third season of rookie-ball while hitting .216, so he’s more “minor leaguer” than “prospect.”

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.