Broxton signs 2-year deal to stay with Cardinals

Veteran righty returns as key cog in bullpen

Broxton signs 2-year deal to stay with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Needing to fortify a bullpen that lost four relievers to free agency, the Cardinals turned around and welcomed one of them back.

Jonathan Broxton, a right-handed reliever the Cardinals initially acquired as part of a Trade Deadline deal with Milwaukee, agreed to a two-year deal with the club Thursday. CBSSports.com reports the contract is for $7.5 million and includes a full no-trade clause.

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"Jonathan did a very nice for us and we felt he gives our bullpen the needed flexibility on the back end," St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said. "We are excited for him to stay and are grateful for his commitment to the Cardinals."

At the start of the offseason, the Cardinals declined Broxton's $9 million mutual option by paying a $1 million buyout. He earned $9 million in 2015 as part of a three-year contract signed with the Reds in November 2012.

Broxton, 31, performed well after that July 31 trade to St. Louis, posting a 2.66 ERA in 26 appearances for the Cardinals. He struck out 26 over 23 2/3 innings and allowed just one run in 12 appearances at Busch Stadium. Broxton, who was swapped for Minor Leaguer Malik Collymore, had given up 24 runs in 36 2/3 innings with Milwaukee before the deal.

Broxton has been a two-time All-Star during an 11-year career in which he has posted a 3.23 ERA in 271 appearances with the Dodgers, Royals, Reds, Brewers and Cardinals.

With Broxton back in the mix, the Cardinals should have sufficient coverage for the back end of the 'pen. Trevor Rosenthal will return as closer after setting a franchise saves record in 2015. Kevin Siegrist, Jordan Walden, Seth Maness and Broxton are expected to provide the late-inning bridge to Rosenthal.

The addition of Broxton puts the 40-man roster count at 37. He was one of four roster additions over the past four days, as St. Louis traded for infielder Jedd Gyorko, acquired lefty Jayson Aquino off waivers and selected right-hander Matthew Bowman in the Rule 5 Draft.

While the Broxton signing was announced after the Cardinals' contingent had departed the Winter Meetings, all the groundwork had been laid during their stay in Nashville.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.