According to Mark Sheldon, the Reds have signed starting pitcher Todd Redmond to a major league contract worth at least $490,000 (the league minimum).

RHP Todd Redmond, who was the lone Reds pitcher to make a start that wasn’t in the regular starting five in 2012, re-signed with the club. It’s a Major League contract and pays $490,000 for one year.

Signing Redmond isn’t completely surprising. But that he would command a major league contract from the Reds, is highly noteworthy. With the Reds in hot pursuit of a closer (more on that in a second), the Cuban Missile is headed out of the bullpen at full trajectory, leaving a surplus of Mike Leake in the starting rotation.

The Reds’ pricey addition of Redmond certainly signals they are seriously contemplating trading Leake or another starting pitcher – maybe for the Reds’ next left-fielder and/or lead-off hitter.

On the closer front, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Reds are close to signing closer Jonathan Broxton to a multi-year contract.

The Cincinnati Reds, paving the way for left-hander Aroldis Chapman to become a starter, are in serious talks with free-agent right-hander Jonathan Broxton on a three-year contract, according to major league sources.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms the rumor and – stunningly – tweets that the contract would be for at least three years.

A long-term closer contract for Broxton really surprises me. First of all, he’s only a little more than one-year removed from elbow surgery, which means a long-term deal is risky. It also makes Sean Marshall’s long-term contract really puzzling. The Reds are paying Marshall $16.5 million over the next three years. As I wrote in the spring, that extension made brilliant sense for an organization like the Reds if Marshall is going to be the closer.

But it makes considerably less sense for a team with the Reds payroll to pay that much for a set-up pitcher, especially one used sometimes as a LOOGY by the recently re-signed manager. Presumably Broxton will earn legitimate closer pay in any deal. That’s a lot to spend on the bullpen. Maybe this is a further indication that Reds’ owner Bob Castellini has green-lit an accelerated increase in payroll schedule.

If the Broxton deal goes through as reported, prepare yourself for a starting rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Chapman, Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo.

UPDATE: John Fay has spoken with Broxton’s agent who says the deal isn’t done but could come together quickly.

“It’s more than kicking the tires,” he said. “It could come together quickly.” Abbott said they’ve talked about a couple of different deals. “It’s no secret that Jonathan wants security,” he said. Any multiyear contract would require a physical.