THURSDAY: The Reds have agreed to a minor-league deal with Arroyo, per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon (via Twitter). He has already passed his physical with the organization, though he still needs to formally sign his contract before it’ll be official.
MONDAY: It emerged recently that the Reds had taken a look at former rotation stalwart Bronson Arroyo. Though the level of the team’s interest wasn’t clear at the time, it seems now that the organization saw some promise in the veteran righty’s workout. Indeed, Cincinnati has engaged Arroyo in contract talks that appear likely to result in a deal, according to a report from Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reporting (on Twitter).
Cincinnati has made clear that it isn’t interested in handing out any more major-league deals this winter, so any arrangement with Arroyo would be of the minor-league variety. That’s unsurprising, as Arroyo is less than a month away from his fortieth birthday and over two-and-a-half years removed from his last MLB appearance.
In his most recent work in the bigs, Arroyo provided the Diamondbacks with 86 innings of 4.08 ERA pitching. He landed in Arizona on a two-year deal after an eight-year run with the Reds. Arroyo not only revived his career in Cincy, but established himself as a tireless workhorse who could be relied upon for solid innings even in his mid-thirties.
All told, Arroyo spun 1,690 1/3 frames of 4.05 ERA ball with the Reds. While the results were rarely spectacular, that 211-inning-per-year average was plenty valuable. Though he never threw harder than the upper eighties, compiling just 5.9 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9, Arroyo managed to suppress batting averages on balls in play with his crafty pitch mix.
That track record led the D-Backs to promise Arroyo $23.5MM in free agency. Unfortunately, he rather promptly broke down and hasn’t returned to the majors since. Tommy John surgery kept him out for 2015. Though he returned to join the Nationals in spring camp in 2016, his return bid was thwarted by a torn tendon in his rotator cuff. While it seemed at one point as if Arroyo might not have another comeback bid in him, it seems he’ll give it another try.