Broxton's been closing for the Royals this season, but with Aroldis Chapman thriving in that role for the Reds, Broxton will now be pitching in seventh and eighth innings rather than ninths. This does seem like a move-just-to-make-a-move, as the Reds already lead the majors with a 2.66 bullpen ERA. Then again, some of Cincinnati's relievers have better ERAs than their other numbers might suggest, so maybe Walt Jocketty is expecting some stretch-run regression, and Broxton's a bit of insurance.
Sulbaran's spent this season in Class AA, and has a 4.04 ERA in 19 starts, with a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. John Sickels labeled Sulbaran as a SLEEPER before this season, but he's taken a step backward. Still, it was important for the Royals to get something for Broxton, and Sulbaran is something.
Meanwhile, Broxton had some kind departing words for Royals fans, via Twitter:
Brox thanks the good people of KansasTown. You were so nice to ol Broxy. Sorry for eating all the BBQ that one time. And that other time.— Brox* (@Brox4AllStarz) July 31, 2012
* not really Brox
Update: The Royals actually snagged two prospects in this deal: Sulbaran and lefty reliever Donnie Joseph, whose stock dropped when he posted a 6.94 ERA in 2011, but has rebounded in a big way this season as Joseph has pitched exceptionally well in double- and triple-A. So well, in fact, that he's a good bet to join the Royals' 25-man roster soon.
This trade looks like a win for the Royals.