Reds Will Exercise Arroyo’s Option

The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay tweets that Reds' GM Walt Jocketty has said he will "definitely" pick up Bronson Arroyo's $11MM option for 2011. Jocketty says they'll try to add years to the contract as well. If that fails, Arroyo is essentially on a one-year, $9MM deal, as the Reds would've had to pay a $2MM buy out on the option anyway.

Arroyo, 34 in February, was traded to the Reds from Boston along with $1.5MM in exchange for Wily Mo Pena back in 2006. The trade came as a surprise move, as Arroyo had just signed an extension with the Red Sox two months prior. In February of 2007, he signed a two-year $25MM extension with the Reds that includes this $11MM option.

Arroyo has been a workhorse for the Reds over the course of his Cincinnati tenure, throwing 200 innings or more in every season, and compiling a 3.97 ERA over that time with 6.2 K/9 and a solid 2.6 BB/9. While his strikeouts are down over the past two seasons, his control has improved and he's become more difficult to hit. Arroyo allowed a career-best 7.8 hits per nine innings in 2010 (though that was likely aided by a .246 BABIP — well below his career .290 mark), helping the Reds to the NL Central Division Championship.

The Reds will have their hands full in trying to extend Arroyo, as he's made it clear this season that he won't accept a discount to stay with the Reds. Back in July, Arroyo told Fay that he wouldn't consider restructuring his contract at a discount like teammate Scott Rolen did. Arroyo said that got burned when he took a discount to stay in Boston and was traded months later, and that he had to look out for his own best interest this time around.

One thing the Reds will have in their favor is that Arroyo has said that he would prefer to remain with the Reds for at least three more years. He cited liking the city and the team's young talent as reasons.

26 Responses to Reds Will Exercise Arroyo’s Option Leave a Reply

  1. BravesRed 5 years ago

    Who would have thought a year ago that his option would be picked up?

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      A year ago he had an ERA under 4, was coming off his 5th consecutive 200+ inning season, and a 1.26 WHIP… so I’d say a lot of people figured it would be picked up.

      • I think that Jocketty’s first option would be to extend Arroyo for about two more seasons, but if he can’t do that, he might deal him. Picking up the option is a no brainer. He has value, so get something for him rather than pay $ 2 million to cut him loose.

  2. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    I really can’t see them going beyond 2 years/$26MM on an extension. He’s not really worth $13MM a year but he’s got good pedigree relative to comparable pitchers. And lets face it, with the best overall season of his career, it’d be hard to argue for the Reds declining the option which is less than what he got paid this year. He could be a solid number 2 starter, I think.
    Furthermore, Arroyo is right about feeling shafted by the Red Sox. He gave them a major discount and mortgaged a good portion of his financial future out of loyalty to them and they traded him to what was at the time a team in the doldrums.

    • That was definitely a dirty play on the Red Sox part. I guess it goes to show, if you’re going to give a hometown discount- no trade clause it.

      Of course, even worse- the contract gave the Red Sox a ton of surplus value which they wasted on getting a high upside, probable bust project in Wily Mo. No winners on that group except the Reds.

  3. I figured the Reds would pick up Arroyo’s option, but then trade him. This would be a great time to trade Arroyo for a pretty good young starting pitcher with big upside. Arroyo will not likely repeat quite the success of this season. His ERA is in line with 2009, but his .246 BABIP is the lowest of any qualifying starter in the league. He’ll be expensive to sign to a long term extension. If he were to hit the open market, he would instantly become one of the top free agent starters available. Maybe as high as no 2, but definitely top ten.

    • nathanalext 5 years ago

      “Pretty good young starter with big upside.” We already have plenty of them. Leake, Wood, Chapman….. What we could really use is a decent LF or 3B prospect, should the Reds go that route.

      • Don’t have any spare 3B prospects, unless you move Sizemore or Rhymes over there.
        Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells, Clete Thomas are all good OF prospects, but Arroyo already costs $ 11 mil, so you can’t expect too much in addition to taking on that full contract. Every club wants pitching, so I’m sure Jocketty will spin him into something.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          In what universe does Clete Thomas even resemble a “good prospect?”

          • Not one of my favorites of the group, but he’s got a strong and accurate arm, decent speed and is a very good outfielder. If he shortened up his swing and made contact like when he first came up, he’d be a decent third or fourth outfielder. He has a career .354 OBP in the minors and .336 with the Tigers in parts of two season. You can find a whole lot worse around the majors. He missed almost the whole season this year, but should be back. I think the Reds could do better. Boesch clearly has much bigger upside.

  4. Meh. Good move for the Reds to pick up the option for essentially $9 million bucks but Arroyo doesn’t really inspire me. He’s a descent enough mid-rotation starter but he’s striking out fewer hitters and he was hit lucky this year. If he returns to a normal BABIP next year and his strikeouts stay down he could be in for a relatively poor season just as he’s hitting free agency. If I were Jocketty I’d hold off on trying to extend him and see if the price goes down after the 2011 season.

  5. Whats the 2011 rotation look like now?

    Volquez-Arroyo-Cueto are pretty much locks, but who gets the final 2 spots out of Bailey, Wood, and Leake?

    Also, does Chapman start in the minors or stay in the majors as a reliever?

    • nathanalext 5 years ago

      They can trade 2 of them. Bailey as far as I’m concerned could be one of them. Who knows out of the rest of the group!

      EDIT: Chapman is the only untouchable out of the group.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Well Chapman’s numbers as a starter were less than stellar in AAA, save for his ability to strike everyone out. He could use some seasoning… but at this point it’s just his control as a starter that’s the question which they might as well keep him with a major league pitching coach.I’d say if they’re grooming him as a starter then they’ll give him a shot to win the 5th man in ST. Since he has a big league deal I’m not a hundred percent sure if putting him in AAA stops his clock on free agency. If it does stop his clock then they’ll put him in AAA to work on his control… Of course if they see him as closer of the future then just install him as set up man and bye bye Cordero in 2012. So long way to answer your question: It depends on if sending him to AAA with his major league deal stops his march towards FA.

    • I say your first 3 are probably correct.. The final 2 spots go to Chapman, Leake, or Wood… I could see Chapman stay in the pen too. They could flip flop Coco and Chapman back and forth in the 8th and 9th. Masset pitches the 7th if needed on most days. other guys fill in the gaps.

  6. I think the Reds will end up just keeping him around. He’s decent and if he puts up another solid season he could end up being a Type A or Type B at the end of next year. At that point, or midseason, they can figure out if they want to extend or let him walk. Either way they probably don’t lose. Getting a supplemental pick is about as good as they’d get on the FA market, given that he’s getting paid 11 and is probably worth somewhere around 13 or 14.

    In other news, I still can’t believe the Red Sox traded him for Wily Mo Pena. When I heard that, I thought it was the biggest bonehead play. History has not proven me wrong on that, either. Though at the very least, Arroyo never quite was able to put together the K’s and the low BB rate at the same time. If he had done that, Epstein might have needed to invest in a few spare gorilla suits.

  7. camisadelgolf 5 years ago

    Steve, you said Arroyo is essentially on a $9M contract, but in reality, it’s $11M since he hit his innings clause. Including the buyout that would have been paid had his option not been picked up, it’s a total of $13M.

  8. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    Keeping Arroyo around for next year is a nice insurance policy. He’s never on the DL, he gives you 200+ fairly good innings, with a few gems mixed in with the clunkers. When you have a bunch of young arms, it’s going to be helpful to the relief staff to know there’s a pitcher that’s going to go his 6-7 innings every time out.

    He’s a real pro too-takes the business of pitching seriously, takes the business of being in good shape seriously, takes the care and feeding of his fellow pitchers/teammates seriously, and does an awful lot in the community for the Reds. Arroyo certainly deserves to have the option picked up, and I’m glad they’re doing it. As far as an extension goes, I’d be careful on dollars and years. But for 2011, it’s a no-brainer.

  9. bringbackericthered 5 years ago

    I like the move. Works well for us.


    To start 2011 off. Chapman in AAA. Bailey to the pen. He can still run it up to 97 when healthy.
    I would look to move Arroyo for a SS who is a MLB guy now or a LF guy. Our only SS right now in the system I like at all is Billy Hamilton. 3B is a worry but I still like Francisco to have a shot.

    • Dylan 5 years ago

      As a Phillies fan, I could see the Reds going after Werth. He would be a great fit for that ballpark and line-up as much as it pains me to say.

      • bringbackericthered 5 years ago

        I would love to.
        But Votto, Bruce, Cueto all coming up on arbitration and we will try to at least lock a few of them up. Then deal with the options of: Gomes, Harang, Cabrera, Arroyo (will be picked up obviously). I love Gomes’ attitude but I dont see us bringing him back at this rate.
        We need to look at moving Arroyo in order to get Werth. Add in we NEED to find a SS….money will be an issue in the Queen City this winter.

        • Harrang is gone… my guess is if they can get a good LF then Gomes is gone too and probably Nix too. Not sure whats going to happen with Cabrera. that too me seems really up in the air. Arroyo is not going anywhere unless someone wants to blow us away with a good SS major league ready player or LF ready player that has proven they can hit major league pitching. I think Arroyo stays for veteran presence and who know Cashtiellni might open his wallet a bit more to get us what we need. He has to know we are getting close now.

          Oh side note biggest disappointment for me in the playoffs was the Reds Defense for having the best in the NL we sure didn’t show it at all.

    • Thats my Rotation too but I give Voquez number 1 spot and Cueto 3 and Arroyo 2. then Wood then Leake.

      • bringbackericthered 5 years ago

        My rotation (that was just a list)
        Cueto – showed why last night.
        Volquez – Best stuff but is behind Cueto in terms of “getting it”
        Wood – #1 potential here
        Leake – ground ball machine. will be fresh in 2011

        I use Arroyo to try and get a LF. Kemp if he is available (not straight up of course). Dusty handles ego’s well.

  10. I suspect that he’s still available for a decent starting pitching prospect. Can’t require too much, because $ 11 mil is pretty good money for Arroyo. If some club can pick him up for the right price, they get a good SP that’s thrown 200 innings reliably for five seasons with a decent ERA, very good WHIP at least the last two seasons, and they don’t have to shell out for a long term contract. Maybe even get a top pick back after a year if he walks. I wouldn’t trade Jacob Turner for him, but I’d trade Galarraga for him. Or Phil Coke, Dan Schlereth, or any of several others.

  11. I seriously doubt Arroyo goes anywhere unless the Reds flop next season and I don’t see that happening now either. If they do flop he goes in mid season trade for prospects please LF or SS.

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