With only hours to go until the trade deadline, Doug Melvin isn't done yet: The Brewers have traded reliever Jonathan Broxton to the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
The Brewers will receive outfielder Maik Collymore in return, but are also sending some cash to the Cardinals. That's to be expected: Broxton was owed $9 million this season and has a $2 million buyout at the end of the year that is sure to be exercised.
The Brewers acquired Broxton in a post-deadline deal from the Reds last year as Milwaukee tried to resuscitate what had been a first-place team that was stumbling out of playoff contention. Unfortunately, Broxton's time with the Brewers didn't go especially well as he posted a 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings with the team in 2014 despite outstanding peripheral numbers.
This year, Broxton has been terrible coming out of the Brewers bullpen. Over 36.2 innings, he has a 5.89 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP and a 3.65 FIP. Though his strikeout (9.1 K/9) and walk (2.5 BB/9) numbers have been good, Broxton has been getting hit hard. His 10.1 hits/9 is the second-worst such number of his career. Part of that is a high BABIP, but part is batters clearly seeing the ball better against him this year than in the past.
Collymore is 20 years old and is in his third professional season after being drafted in the 10th round of the 2013 draft out of high school. He has yet to make it out of rookie ball and has hit .286/.360/.429 over 96 career games. Those numbers are held up primarily by a 2014 campaign that saw him post an .883 OPS.
The Brewers have traded a struggling reliever to the Cardinals before: In 2013, Milwaukee sent John Axford to St. Louis. In return, they got Michael Blazek. That ended up being a very good deal for the Brewers; we can only dream of this Broxton trade working out so well. At the very least, though, Milwaukee is saving some money.
With the deadline at 4:00 ET/3:00 CT, the Brewers now have just Kyle Lohse and Neal Cotts as expiring contracts. Cotts might still be dealt, but Lohse would be a hard sell. Then again, I would have said the same of Broxton, so who knows?