Free Agent Stock Watch: Bronson Arroyo

If the Reds don't pick up Bronson Arroyo's option for 2011, he'll be in high demand. Only three pitchers have logged more innings than Arroyo over the course of the past five seasons and the 33-year-old has posted a 3.97 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 over that span. Arroyo's 2010 season has been strong, as usual. He has a 3.84 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 for the NL Central leaders this year.

Arroyo hasn't started fewer than 28 games in a season since joining Boston's rotation in 2004. That kind of consistency has value on the open market, even if Arroyo doesn't have overpowering stuff. The Mariners, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, Indians, Rockies, Brewers, Nationals and Diamondbacks are some of the teams that could have interest in adding an innings eater this winter. There are other options of course – Kevin Millwood, Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez and Dave Bush will be available – but Arroyo would have no trouble finding a job if the Reds decline his option.

It would cost Cincinnati $2MM to decline Arroyo's option and either $11MM or $13MM to pick it up (the cost depends on how many innings the right-hander pitches). The Reds have many pitchers to consider for their 2011 rotation, but none of them are as predictable as Arroyo. It would not be surprising at all to see the Reds pick up Arroyo's option.

If GM Walt Jocketty decides to turn down the option, the Reds will have to decide whether to offer arbitration to Arroyo, who currently projects as a Type A free agent. They could obtain compensatory picks if Arroyo declined an offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere, but he could always accept their offer.

Jason Marquis, another durable early thirties right-hander, signed a two-year deal worth $15MM last offseason despite similarly low strikeout rates. If Arroyo hits the open market this winter, it would not be surprising to see him sign a two-year deal worth $20MM or so.

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15 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Bronson Arroyo"

4 years 11 months ago

his ERA is 3.84, not 2.84

4 years 11 months ago

There is only two things that Javy will eat next year! Bloated innings and the long ball.

4 years 11 months ago

Arroyo wasn’t that great the last time he was in the AL. It was a while ago, but it could mean a major regression, ESP. If he went to, say, the al east.

4 years 11 months ago

That’s what they said about Edgar Renteria, and look what he did! No, wait!

4 years 11 months ago

He already pitched there & was solid.

4 years 11 months ago

Why not pick up the option and see what you can get in a trade in spring training. Reds should be set with Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, and Leake, with LeClure and Chapman waiting in the wings and/or in the bullpen. Don’t really need Arroyo, but Jocketty may find a way to leverage something for him.

4 years 11 months ago

Here is the problem with your statement. The Reds need some veteran leadership. All of the starters on your list have 3 or less years in the majors. Now I do admit that the list is impressive. But it sure would be nice to have Arroyo and his 220 innings next year again. Harrang is probably gone after his poor pitching this season. That and Arroyo is a fan favorite of a lot of fans and the city loves him and his personality. I see the Reds keeping Arroyo and letting Harrang go.

I personally don’t like the idea of trading Arroyo even though he probably would be worth something decent.

4 years 11 months ago

Arroyo has a sickly low BABIP at just .242, so you can expect some regression in his ERA, and further trouble if he goes back to the AL. I think he can get $ 11 million as a free agent, can get a multi year contract for around $ 20 mil, and thus I think the Reds can get value for him as a trade piece. Once you get past Cliff Lee, it’s a scramble among starting pitchers on the free agent market, and Arroyo is up there near the top of the list of those that have had good seasons with Lilly, Pavano, and Kuroda. Even if the Reds are inclined to let him go, why pay a $ 2 mil buyout when his option can be picked up and then swap him for something.

4 years 11 months ago

As a Reds fan, I’d like to see him back next year. He’s no Ace but he brings stability to the rotation and you always know what you’re getting from him year to year. I’m not confidient in the rotation being just Cueto, Volquez, Wood, Leake, and Chapman. None have ever pitched 200 innings in a year before.

4 years 11 months ago

I agree with you. He’s also been a solid professional with a great work ethic-a good role model for the younger pitchers, not to mention almost legendary durability. He’s not a great pitcher, but he’s a good pitcher who will give you a great game every once in awhile. You cannot discount the value of 200+ innings on a staff of young arms that are going to experience growing pains.

Like someone said, if the younger pitchers perform well beyond expectations, you’ve got a trade chip with Arroyo. He has already stated he’s not interested in a home town discount, so just pick up the option. He’s definitely worth keeping around one more season.

4 years 11 months ago

Yeah, the hometown discount already screwed over Arroyo once.

I’d go a step further and say that the Reds won’t trade Arroyo unless they are absolutely out of it by the deadline next year. Even if all the young pitching meets/exceeds expectations, he is still very valuable as a mid-to-back-of-the-rotation innings eater. They will most certainly need that in August and September.

4 years 11 months ago

Not only would it not be surprising to see the Reds pick up the option, I think it’s a no-brainer. If you believe the fangraphs numbers, 11M or 13M would be a bit of an overpay but you can never have too much pitching, especially consistent pitching, doubly so when a team is becoming a perennial playoff contender.

4 years 11 months ago

Arroyo is one of those guys that bucks the numbers … even though his K rate is down this season vs. the past 5 years, his ERA & wins are right in line or better then the numbers would predict. Part of that is probably due to the Reds being one of the better defensive teams in the league this year. But he still pitches in a park known for its ERA inflating propensity which adds about .76 runs (home/road ERA splits)

4 years 11 months ago

Bronson Arroyo is glue to the Reds rotation. Yes the Reds have a bunch of good young talent, but none of them have shown much consistency yet. Arroyo is a pro and while he doesn’t have great stuff, I could believe the guy could be doing about the same thing when he is 40 years old. He is also a good guy to use as an illustration to some of the similar guys the Reds have like Leake, Wood, LeCure and Maloney, none of which have high mph speeds, but are going to have to live and die off the same stuff like Arroyo, being able to pitch and mix stuff up.

I’d bring Arroyo back for next year exercising the option, but I don’t know about putting a big contract to him. I’d maybe try to give him a little raise and maybe try to get a 2nd year option, if he would go that way (which he probably wouldn’t, as I would think his agent wants to try to sucker the Yanks, as they ALWAYS over pay for guys that have beaten them in the past).

4 years 11 months ago

how much do you think he would cost if he accepted arb?

Might be worth a little risk to decline the option and offer arbitration. They have some depth that even if he signs elsewhere they could be OK next season (plus there are other veteran options available this offseason as free agents) and he could net them some valuable draft picks.

If he accepts arb I don’t imagine his salary jumping to excessively