If the Reds hadn't already bowed out of the postseason race for 2014, they all but threw up the white flag on Sunday when Jonathan Broxton was traded to division rival Milwaukee.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Broxton was claimed off waivers by the Brewers, which prompted Cincinnati to propose a trade for the right-handed reliever.
The most notable part of the deal is the fact that Milwaukee has agreed to pick up all of the remaining salary on Broxton's relatively large contract. The 30-year-old is in year two of a three-year deal which pays him $21 million over the life of the contract. This includes $9 million for 2015 and a $9 million club option for 2016 (with a $1 million buyout). The Reds are now off the hook for all of that chunk of change (including the roughly $1.2 million owed to him for the remainder of 2014).
Removing Broxton's salary from the books will definitely help make the tough money decisions the club will face in the offseason a bit easier. Although Broxton has exceeded expectations on the mound (1.86 ERA in 48.1 IP), it's safe to assume the Reds can find a cheaper option to assume the setup role he has been occupying. And certainly for much less than 10 percent of the entire team payroll.
General manager Walt Jocketty didn't just give Broxton away for free though. Milwaukee has agreed to send the Reds two players to be named later (both of which are most certainly prospects). The names of the players have not been unveiled yet. But multiple reports suggest the two teams have already agreed on one of the players with the Reds possessing a list of possibilities to choose from for the second player. According to Jim Day of Fox Sports Ohio, the players are expected to contribute to the big league team within two to three years. So it's unlikely their impact will be immediately felt.
Nonetheless, the deal bodes well in helping the Reds better position themselves for the future. Jocketty was able to free up considerable cash while adding young talent to the organization as well.
If you recall, the Reds originally acquired Broxton at the trade deadline in 2012.