Brewers Finalize Jonathan Broxton Deal


Apr 24, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton (51) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Reds won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Melvin looks like a genius. Well, sort of.

On the final day of August, the Brewers’ GM acquired pitcher Jonathan Broxton from the Cincinnati Reds for two players to be named later.

‘Later’ came yesterday, as the Brewers sent pitchers Kevin Shackelford and Barrett Astin to the Reds to complete last month’s deal for the big right-handed reliever.

Shackelford was selected in the 21st round of the 2010 June Amateur Draft out of Marshall University.

He is in his fifth year and pitched at Brevard County (High A) and Huntsville (AA) in 2014, appearing in a combined 52 games. He went 2-4 with a 3.69 ERA and posted six saves. He struggled a bit at Huntsville, with a WHIP of 1.540 and a K/BB ratio of just 1.47. He will most likely begin next year at the same level for the Reds.

Astin was a third round pick from the University of Arkansas in 2013 for the Brewers. He spent this season pitching at A Wisconsin, making 18 starts among his 27 appearances. He won eight of 15 decisions with an ERA of 4.96 and also rang up four saves. Astin finished eight of his nine relief appearances, so it is likely he was being groomed for the closer spot that he held while pitching for the Razorbacks in the 2012 College World Series.

Both were just outside the Brewers Top 20 Prospect list, with Shackelford at #21 and Astin at #22 prior to the 2014 season.

Astin will most likely start at High A or AA, and could move up fast. He seems to have a higher ceiling than Shackelford.

At this point in time, the deal looks good for the Brewers, especially since Broxton is under contract for next season at $9M, plus a 2016 option for the same, with a $2M buyout. If Francisco Rodriguez leaves after this season to pursue free agency, Broxton could easily slide into the departed closer role.

It’s always a crapshoot trying to compare trade values, but a sure thing (Broxton) is usually better than two prospects.

Only time will tell.