Bronson Arroyo Rumors
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com participated in a live chat with fans today and shared a number of Giants-related hot stove items...
- The Giants "went hard after" Jose Dariel Abreu and offered the Cuban slugger a contract that paid him roughly the same average annual value of his six-year, $68MM deal with the White Sox. The catch was that the Giants' offer wasn't six years long as they didn't want to make that long a commitment to a player that is projected by many scouts to be a future designated hitter.
- Ryan Vogelsong's $6.5MM option won't be picked up by the Giants but Baggarly thinks the veteran righty will re-sign on a cheaper one-year deal with incentives.
- There is mutual interest between the Giants and Javier Lopez, and the money saved by declining Vogelsong's option could help the club afford the veteran southpaw.
- The Giants are "probably not" realistic players for Masahiro Tanaka, as Baggarly figures that his posting price will exceed what the Giants are willing to offer, plus big spenders like the Dodgers and Yankees are in the mix. Baggarly reported in August that San Francisco had an interest in the Japanese righty.
- Brandon Belt could be approached about a contract extension in Spring Training but the Giants will just work out a one-year deal in the meantime to cover Belt's first year of arbitration eligibility. MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects Belt to earn $2.4MM in 2014 and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggests that Allen Craig's extension could be a model for a Belt extension, though with some adjustments since Belt is a Super Two player.
- The Giants are looking only for "reliable innings guys" in their rotation so the likes of Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson and Josh Johnson will only draw the club's interest if they're healthy.
- Though the Giants are looking for a right-handed power bat and might trade prospects to get one, the club is unlikely to move the likes of Kyle Crick, Edwin Escobar or Adalberto Mejia.
- When it comes to left field, the Giants may prioritize defense. Baggarly expects San Francisco to look for a left fielder in a trade rather than free agency.
- Baggarly hasn't heard Scott Kazmir's name mentioned as a possibility in San Francisco.
- Mark Trumbo "has his admirers in the [Giants] front office." While the Angels are known to be willing to move Trumbo for young pitching talent, I'm not sure the Giants are a good trade partner given that they're looking for arms themselves.
- Given Marco Scutaro's age, Brandon Phillips "makes a lot of sense" for the Giants. Baggarly makes it clear that he's only speculating, however. Phillips is rumored to be on the shopping block but Reds GM Walt Jocketty recently denied that he's talked about Phillips with other teams.
- The Giants are very unlikely to surrender their first round (14th overall) draft pick to sign a free agent who has rejected a qualifying offer. This could have a major impact on the chances of the team pursuing Bronson Arroyo, who could be extended a qualifying offer by the Reds. Baggarly feels that Arroyo and Dan Haren are the free agent pitchers who are most likely to be San Francisco targets.
- Recent Pablo Sandoval trade rumors are "total scuttlebutt," in Baggarly's opinion.
The Pirates and Cardinals are the talk of the NL Central right now, and deservedly so as the division rivals head into Game 5 of the NLDS. While all eyes will be on Gerrit Cole and Adam Wainwright tomorrow, here's a look around the rest of the division...
- Bronson Arroyo tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that he "hasn't heard a word" from the Reds, and he's being realistic and assuming that he won't return in 2014. Arroyo doesn't get the sense that he'll receive a qualifying offer, and he says he understands the business reasons for parting ways with Tony Cingrani able to fill his rotation spot for the league minimum: "It’s a question of whether they want a $28 million rotation or a $42 million rotation. They have Cingrani and probably don’t want to push the envelope money-wise." Presumably, the $14MM gap referenced by Arroyo is in regards to the expected $14MM value of a one-year, qualifying offer.
- Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago reports that Cubs brass and Manny Acta had a seven-hour meeting yesterday. Acta is appealing to the team because the Cubs would like a Latin American presence in their managerial opening or on the coaching staff, or both (Twitter links).
- The Reds haven't contacted Cubs third base coach David Bell about their managerial vacancy, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bell has previously managed the Reds' Triple-A affiliate in Louisville and "would be a lock to be interested" if contacted, writes Fay, but the Reds aren't able to reach out at this time, as he's under contract with the Cubs for 2014.
Timing is everything in baseball and Joe Girardi is hitting the open market at the perfect time, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The Cubs always saw landing Girardi as a longshot, but they'll give it another go this winter. From the Yankees perspective, they'd be foolish not to lock Girardi up with a lucrative new deal, in Cafardo's opinion. Few managers, he argues, could have survived the injuries that the Yankees were dealing with and kept them in the playoff chase in September. If Girardi bails for Chicago or elsewhere, Cafardo suggests Don Mattingly as a candidate. Of course, the Dodgers would have to fire him or work out a trade for that to happen. Here's more from today's column..
- Bronson Arroyo says he wants a three-year deal and he feels his time in Cincinnati is likely over. “I have no preference on where I want to pitch but I’ll certainly consider the team, their chances of winning, and all of that,” he said. “I feel I can pitch effectively at 37, 38, and 39 years old. I’ve never missed a start. Never been injured. I’m not a max-effort guy out there, so there’s no big-time wear and tear on me. I loved Cincinnati but I don’t think they’re in position to give me what I want.” Cafardo suggests the Blue Jays, Orioles, Brewers, Cubs, Giants, Pirates, Cardinals, and Dodgers as possibilities.
- It's looking increasingly likely that Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick will be traded for pitching or prospects. The Royals need second base help and would have interest. The Orioles may also be interested if they cut ties with Brian Roberts this winter. The O's haven't decided what to do with Roberts just yet but they wouldn't go beyond a one-year deal to keep him.
- It has been suggested that the Brewers could trade Ryan Braun, but finding someone willing to take on his baggage and lucrative deal could be tricky. “I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Someone would have to take a big chance and nobody’s doing that on PED guys, especially for that length of contract,” said one exec.
- Bench coach Tony Pena is not likely to replace Girardi as manager if he goes elsewhere. “I don’t think anyone in our front office is even thinking about that,” said one Yankees official.
- Many believe that the Dodgers won't be serious players for Robinson Cano, but things can change with an early exit from the playoffs.
The Mets reinstated infielder Jordany Valdespin to their 40-man roster after he completed his 50-game Biogenesis suspension, but it remains to be seen if he'll be brought back in 2014. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the team has not yet decided whether he will be brought to Spring Training and the front office will have discussions on the matter between then and now. Interestingly, those conversations haven't gotten underway yet and when asked why, Alderson replied, "Maybe it's because Valdespin's future doesn't warrant convening a meeting." Here's more out of the NL East..
- One veteran talent evaluator told Mike Puma of the New York Post that it's a “no-brainer” the Mets will pursue Bronson Arroyo this winter. Recently, Tim Dierkes profiled the pending free agent who says that he is chasing after a multi-year deal.
- Marlins special assistant Andre Dawson said owner Jeffrey Loria told him recently that he plans to acquire hitters with the priorities being third base, first base, and catcher, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Of course, budget constraints could again prove to be limiting. Marlins people believe the payroll will fall in the range of this season’s, which was $36MM before the Ricky Nolasco trade, but Loria hasn’t told the staff what the 2014 number will be and he has been known to change his mind.
- Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that the Phillies should not re-sign Roy Halladay this offseason. The Phillies got to evaluate the pitcher again at the end of the season but GM Ruben Amaro says that he may not be fully healthy until the spring.
Barring an injury in the next 12 days, Bronson Arroyo will be the only pitcher in baseball to make at least 32 starts per year from 2005 to present. Even Dan Haren, C.C. Sabathia, and Mark Buehrle can't make that claim. Arroyo, 37 in February, came into his own after a March 2006 trade from the Red Sox to the Reds, but during that time he's never hit the open market as a free agent despite never getting a guarantee exceeding three years.
When you hear a pitcher praised for "taking the ball every fifth day," that doesn't mean that he literally never misses a turn in the rotation. But that truly can be said for the rubber-armed Arroyo, as explained above. Not only does Arroyo make all of his starts, but he's good for six-plus innings each time out. He projects for about 205 innings this year, right around his recent annual average. Arroyo will likely be joined by only Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, and Hiroki Kuroda as 200-inning free agent pitchers.
Arroyo doesn't just take the ball; he adds positive value. He'll likely finish with a sub-4.00 ERA in four of his last five seasons, and it's down to 3.56 at the moment. We recently extolled the virtues of Nolasco's walk rates, but Arroyo's is even better. In fact, only Cliff Lee and Haren have walked fewer batters per nine innings since 2011.
We'll reference Arroyo's age as a negative in free agency, but the fact that he'll pitch at 37 next year is the reason he can expect a two-year deal at best. Signing Arroyo lacks upside, but one or two years for him seems safer than four for Matt Garza. As for a qualifying offer? I doubt Arroyo gets one, as the perenially budget-conscious Reds won't want to risk paying him $14MM next year, even if he says he wants a multiyear deal.
Arroyo is also solid defensively, having picked up a Gold Glove award in 2010.
It's always scary to give decent money to a guy with an 87 mile per hour fastball, with the concern that he'll lose another tick of velocity and start throwing batting practice. He's got one of the lowest swinging-strike rates in the free agent class. Arroyo is a low-strikeout, pitch-to-contact hurler, and he's had multiple years where he's allowed around ten hits per nine innings. When that happens, it results in a lot of baserunners even with a low walk rate. On top of that, Arroyo is mostly a flyball pitcher, so he's relatively prone to the longball.
Arroyo also lacks upside; it's easier to picture Garza, Tim Lincecum, Masahiro Tanaka, or even Scott Kazmir and Phil Hughes ascending (or returning) to the heights of a front of the rotation Major League starter.
Arroyo has a history of avoiding injury, but how many 37-year-olds have reached 200 innings in recent years? If we include Kuroda for 2013, it has happened only four times in the last five seasons: two seasons from Kuroda, and two from R.A. Dickey.
Arroyo is an accomplished musician, putting out a CD in '05 and performing in concert at various functions regularly. He's a four-time winner of the Reds' Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award.
As the Reds' longest-tenured player, Arroyo's first choice is to stay, but it's less likely if they don't offer multiple years. Back in January 2011, Arroyo told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald the other two teams he'd be interested in pitching for are the Rays (he resides in Florida in the offseason) and the Red Sox (his former team). It is difficult to picture either AL team offering Arroyo a multiyear deal, however.
Arroyo made it clear earlier this month he considers this his final shot at a multiyear deal. I think there is a chance of a two-year offer, along the lines of Ryan Dempster's $26.5MM contract. In the end I predict a two-year, $24MM contract for Arroyo.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Bronson Arroyo enjoys pitching for the Reds and "would love to retire in this uniform," but the veteran right-hander stressed that he was looking for more than a one-year contract on the free agent market this winter in an interview with Pete McCarthy and various fans during an MLB.com Chatting Cage segment (MLB.com's Mark Sheldon and Jeremy Warnemuende have a partial transcript).
Arroyo said it would take at least a two-year deal for him to remain in Cincinnati:"There's obviously a limit to how long we can play this game, and we're all trying to maximize our opportunities as far as money. If it wasn't for the dollar bill, I know I would be in this uniform until the day I retire, because I know they enjoy what I do around here, and what I bring to the table on and off the field and inside the locker room. But at the end of the day, dollars and cents always weigh a little heavier than anything else in life, usually.
"If my price tag is a little bit too much or they feel like they don't want to give me more than a one-year deal here, then it's going to be very difficult, because it's probably going to be the last time I have an opportunity to go out and sign a multiyear deal with a ballclub."
The Reds have enjoyed unusual durability from their starting rotation over the last two seasons, as Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Mat Latos and Mike Leake have combined to make 239 starts. Johnny Cueto was a perfect 33-for-33 in 2012 but has made multiple trips to the DL this season, opening the door for rookie Tony Cingrani to impress in his place. Cueto's health status could make the Reds think about bringing back a durable veteran like Arroyo, who has averaged 208 innings over his eight seasons in Cincinnati.
The problem could be a payroll crunch. The mid-market Reds already have $79MM committed to the 2014 payroll, and that's before counting arbitration raises to Bailey and Leake or counting what the team may have to spend to re-sign (or acquire a replacement for) Shin-Soo Choo. Cincinnati also has promising young arms like Robert Stephenson and Daniel Corcino in the farm system and Aroldis Chapman could still be converted to a starter. The Reds could prefer to spend on extending Bailey and/or Leake rather than locking up a pitcher who will be 37 next Opening Day.
That said, the Reds will get a revenue increase in the form of a new TV contract in 2016, and the Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips extensions show that the club isn't afraid to spend big on key players. Arroyo obviously isn't the class of those players, but his durability and good form will surely net him a multiyear deal from some team this winter. Arroyo has a 3.62 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 4.15 K/BB over 179 IP this season.
The Indians had a visit today from Crash Davis. Kevin Costner, star of the movie Bull Durham and in Cleveland for the filming of his new movie Draft Day where he plays the GM of the Cleveland Browns, played catch in the outfield, gloved some ground ball at third base, and took batting practice. "I was actually glad I made contact," Costner said with a smile to reporters including MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "I hadn't swung in a couple years. I thought my chances of swinging through the ball were just as good as fouling it off." With filming in Cleveland, Costner said he has seen several Indians games at Progressive Field and likes what he has seen, "I really think this team can win the division. I've watched a lot of baseball and they have a couple good pieces of DNA. One of them is they come from behind. Not all teams can do that. They've got the right amount of athletic arrogance to do that. I think they can run Detroit down." I wonder if Billy Chapel would agree. Speaking of the Tigers and the rest of baseball's Central Division teams:
- The Tigers had a scout at the Marlins-Giants series this weekend, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. The Tigers are said to have interest in Miami relievers Steve Cishek and Ryan Webb.
- Injuries and back-loaded contracts with deferred money have diminished the value of the Brewers' trade chips, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt. The Brewers do have some productive players on team-friendly contracts such as Yovani Gallardo, Norichika Aoki, and Jonathan Lucroy; but, Haudricourt questions what the return would be for them or for relievers Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford.
- Bronson Arroyo is well aware financial constraints could force the Reds not to re-sign him, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I talked about it very briefly in the offseason," Arroyo said. "The feeling I got was: ‘Hey, we’d love to have you, Bronson.’ I think everybody around would love to keep me here the rest of my career. But monetarily there’s question marks there."
- The Cubs could designate Henry Rodriguez for assignment to make room for another position player, tweets Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.
- Like Arroyo, Cardinals third baseman David Freese told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he is aware he could become a payroll casualty because of the young and inexpensive infield talent the club has. Freese is arbitration eligible once again this winter and isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin indirectly shed some light on the philosophical differences which led to trading Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays. Lawrie's name came up when Melvin told Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the plan is to keep second base prospect Scooter Gennett in Triple-A for the full season instead of being promoted because of the struggles of Rickie Weeks. "The plan worked for (Prince) Fielder and Corey Hart and all those guys," Melvin said. "Spend your time at each level. That's the part I couldn't get through with Brett Lawrie. He wanted to go past everybody. That model works if you're a freak like Ryan Braun, but he did play at every level. I always say to go out and prove you're too good for the league. If you do that, we'll consider moving you up." Instead Melvin, moved Lawrie out to Toronto. In other news from the the NL Central:
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters, including MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, there is no plan to send Corey Hart, recovering from right knee surgery, on a minor league rehab assignment before June 1. This means Hart, who is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list on May 30, will not join the Brewers until mid-June, at the earliest.
- The number of years and not money will be the issue for the Reds in trying to re-sign Shin-Soo Choo, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Choo ranks second on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings.
- If Choo does re-sign with Cincinnati, a payroll casualty could be Bronson Arroyo. In a second tweet, Fay says the Reds' payroll is a big puzzle and there are lots of factors involved in trying to retain both Choo and Arroyo.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch opines merit is not behind the Cardinals' decision to replace the injured Jaime Garcia with fellow left-hander Tyler Lyons, but a desire to delay the service clock of their top pitching prospect, Michael Wacha. This is the second time Wacha, owner of an 1.89 ERA in eight Triple-A starts, has been bypassed to fill a rotation opening. Miklasz further believes the Cardinals, owners of the best record in the National League, don't have the best 25 players in their system on the active roster citing top prospect Oscar Taveras toiling away in Triple-A while Shane Robinson and Ty Wigginton are struggling offensively.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak disagrees with Miklasz's assessment. "I’m not worried about the clock," Mozeliak was quoted as saying by the Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold (via Sulia). "The media is making a lot of the clock. Other people who read the media are making more of it. To me it’s like that’s not what is making our decisions. It’s managing our decisions for what’s best for the club and what’s best for the individuals in their own silo of development."
- Chris Carpenter is continuing to make progress in his recovery from nerve trouble in his neck and back soreness and could make a rehab start in early June, Goold reports. "I’m not going to push myself back," Carpenter said (as quoted by Goold on Sulia). "I’m going to make sure that I’m healthy and that I know everything is going to work and that I can go out there and take that grind of the amount of pitches and innings it takes to go the rest of the year." Carpenter threw three simulated innings Saturday, will throw a side session Monday, and throw another four simulated innings Thursday, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg.
For that special baseball fan in your life, Valentine's Day means dressing up in an Expos throwback jersey and a fake mustache and glasses before hitting the town. Here's the latest from around the majors as Spring Training is almost in full swing...
- The Braves haven't talked to Jason Heyward about a long-term extension, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports. Heyward was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and agreed to a one-year, $3.65MM deal for 2013. Heyward is under team control through the 2015 season. Bowman thinks the Braves could also talk to Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman about multiyear deals before the season begins.
- Also from Bowman's story, Braves CEO and chairman Terry McGuirk said the organization is willing to spend to keep the team in contention for years to come. "Money is not going to stand between us and getting it done at this point because we are that close," McGuirk said. "I'm talking about [the] long term and short term. I'm talking about talent that is here and talent that isn't here."
- Carlos Marmol said he "was a little sad" when the Cubs tried to deal him to the Angels earlier this offseason, ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine writes. Marmol's contract expires after this season and the reliever said he wants to stay with the Cubs. Levine speculates that the Angels could revisit a Marmol deal since Ryan Madson will likely start the year on the disabled list.
- Bronson Arroyo is entering the final year of his Reds contract and the veteran realizes it could be his last year in Cincinnati, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. "When you have a team as we do, where everyone is coming into their own kind of at the same time, and add the fact we have a couple of monster deals already in place, it's going to be tough for me to stick around here if I have [a] successful season," Arroyo said.
- Given the time Reds GM Walt Jocketty is spending on Homer Bailey's contract, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer figures Bailey could be in line for a multiyear deal. The Reds have already signed two other arbitration-eligible pitchers (Mat Latos and Logan Ondrusek) to two-year extensions this offseason. Bailey is in his second year of arb eligibility.
- Kyle Lohse's landing spot is debated by Jeff Sullivan and Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Lohse is expected to find a contact soon, though a number of teams linked to the right-hander are seemingly distancing themselves. Sullivan and Cameron suggest the Rangers, Mariners, Padres and Indians could all be fits for Lohse and the two weigh the costs of Lohse's projected value against the value of the draft pick that most teams would have to give up to sign him.
- Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch lists John Mozeliak's 10 best moves as Cardinals general manager. Mozeliak signed a new extension with the Cards today that will keep him with the team through the 2016 season.
Bronson Arroyo didn’t play in yesterday’s game against the Giants, but it was a significant contest for the right-hander nonetheless. Arroyo now has ten and five rights and cannot be traded without his permission.
Arroyo began the year with nine years and 150 days of MLB service and yesterday marked the 22nd day of the Reds’ season. Nine years and 172 days equates to ten years of service for the 35-year-old, and his last six-plus seasons have been spent in Cincinnati.
Players who have accumulated ten years of Major League service time can't be traded without their permission if they have spent the last five years with their current club. If the Reds trade Arroyo, deferred payments on his current contract are voided and paid up-front by his new team, so it’s especially hard to imagine a trade in his case.