Sunday, August 31, 2014 is notable for a couple reasons. After the Giants drubbed the Brewers 15-5, it represented the last time the Brewers would in any way lead (or share in the lead) for the division in 2014. It was an absolute nose-dive after that as the team finished eight games back of the St. Louis Cardinals.
That day is also notable because the Brewers acquired RHP Jonathan Broxton from the Reds in an effort to bolster a bullpen beset by injuries and declining performances. From the Reds standpoint, Broxton was a pure salary dump, with the Brewers picking up a small portion of Broxton's $7MM 2014 salary and all of his $9MM 2015 salary, plus at least another $2MM to buy out a 2016 option. The Reds received pitchers Kevin Shackelford and Barrett Astin in return, which is about as "players-to-be-named-later-ish" as you can get.
At the time, it was a fairly significant trade for the Brewers in that Broxton was expected to shore up the back end of the bullpen, as he had done in Cincinnati. In reality, the Brewers were in very few competitive or winning efforts down the stretch, so Broxton logged just over ten innings in the final month. Aside from a blowup outing on September 19 (.1 IP, 4 ER), Broxton was fairly effective, allowing a run in just one other appearance.
Alas, Broxton was not the difference-maker the Brewers had hoped for as the rest of the team slumped badly. Broxton is assured to be a member of the 2015 squad, however. Over his ten-year career, he's produced a 3.07 ERA, 2.93 FIP, and 9.8 WAR with about 8 K/9. Depending on the status of free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez, Broxton may well find himself in the closer's seat in 2015.
With only eleven appearances, there's not much to choose from. But Broxton did strike out the side in his one inning of work against his former club on September 25.
Broxton is owed $9MM in salary for 2015. He also has a $9MM option for 2016 with a $2MM buyout.