Thursday, November 10, 2011

Broxton: why is a 27 y/o closer willing to take a 1yr deal

Andy Martino of the Daily News took a look at what closers would fit into the Mets plans.  Sandy Alderson said the team would be going outside the organization for next year's closer, with the payroll cuts it will have to be someone on a short term, low base salary, incentive laden deal. 

Martino brought up Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan and Jonathan Broxton.  In the article Broxton's agent is quoted as saying his client is willing to take such a deal.

“He understands that he has to be open to teams who are trying to get a closer at a reduced cost,” Abbot said, while also noting that Broxton could become a setup man for a big-spending team -- think Boston’s plans last winter for Bobby Jenks. source Daily News

I was wondering why a 27 y/o former closer would be so willing to openly admit that he was setting his bar so low before the closers market is even established.   Looking at his numbers and injury history it becomes clear that he needs to re-establish himself. 

After three solid years as a late inning reliever in which he compiled 19 saves, he became the closer in 2009 and had a very solid year.  He produced 36 saves with a 2.61 ERA, striking out 114 in 76 innings and only walking 29, earning himself an All-Star appearance. 2010 started in similar fashion, in the first half he had 19 saves in 39 games ( 35 GF ) with a 2.11 ERA and earned his second straight All-Star appearance.  In the first half he SO 55 while only walking 7 in 38.1 innings but in the second half as he struggled with injuries he only had three saves and walked 21 in 24 innings while only striking out 18.

Broxton lost almost the entire 2011 season with elbow tightness, after numerous set backs he would eventually have what was called minor elbow surgery in Sept. and his agent says he'll be ready for spring training.  He only made 14 appearances, all early in the season in which he produced 7 saves and an ERA of 5.68. 

   "It's really tough," Mattingly said when asked how the club can evaluate Broxton for next season. "We haven't seen him pitch in a long time. I don't even know how to answer it. Everything is unknown. Can he bounce back without this bothering him? I'm sure he doesn't know either." source