Arroyo won the seventh-most games (105) in the majors over the course of his Reds' career and threw 14 complete games, which was good enough for eighth-most between 2006 and 2013.
The impressive eight-year run for Arroyo also left his mark in the Reds' record book. Arroyo finished ninth all-time for games started and 17th in wins.
Despite the success of Arroyo, the Reds should avoid re-signing him at all costs, even if Arroyo were willing to roll the remaining $10 million the Reds owe him in deferred money into a one-year contract for 2014.
The Almighty Dollar
The main reason the Reds should avoid Arroyo is the cost. The Reds declined to offer Arroyo the $14.1-million qualifying offer that could have returned the Reds' a first-round draft compensation pick had Arroyo refused the offer and some other team signed him as a free agent. Presumably, the risk that Arroyo might accept that one-year deal was sufficient motivation to keep the qualifying offer from ever hitting the table.
Arroyo will undoubtedly sign a two-year or perhaps even a three-year deal that won't average $14 million per year, but he should still be in line for at least a $10-million per-year contract average. That kind of money can be better spent by the Reds to meet the rising costs of the younger talent on the Reds' roster.
The Reds' 2014 Rotation
There will be an ear lent to the case new Reds manager Bryan Price will likely make to have Arroyo re-signed, but, hopefully, that case doesn't result in Arroyo remaining a Red for the sake of the postseason caliber of the rotation.
The 2014 season may be the last year that the Reds will be able to afford an optimal rotation consisting of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and either Aroldis Chapman or Tony Cingrani. The odds are that 2014 will be the final season that Bailey and Chapman are Reds, barring a trade between now and the end of the upcoming season. So if the goal is to maximize rotation dominance for one final year, the Reds are rightly foregoing an innings-eating soft-tosser like Arroyo.
Home Run Arroyo
There have been times in Reds Country when fans have marveled at the seeming optical illusion Arroyo presented to big-league hitters, making them appear like buffoons swing at a slow motion Whiffle ball that defied physics. That quality when Arroyo was on his game will be remembered in Reds Country for years.
But so will all of the long balls -- 252, in fact, which was the most surrendered in the majors between 2006 and 2013 and the most ever given up by a pitcher in Reds history.
And all of those home runs will not be missed at all.
The Future for Arroyo
Long balls notwithstanding, Reds Country still owes Arroyo gratitude for being such a reliable starter for eight years. Despite his advancing years, Arroyo still has the wherewithal to continue to be a reliable starter for the foreseeable future, just not with the Reds now.
One of the more interesting landing spots for Arroyo could be the Minnesota Twins, who have former Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky working as a special assistant. Krivsky pulled off the trade that brought Arroyo to the Reds in 2006.
The New York Mets appear to also have an interest in Arroyo and a need for a catcher. The Reds' recent signing of former Detroit Tigers catcher Brayan Pena could also make the Mets a landing spot for Reds backup catcher Ryan Hanigan, who became Arroyo's personal catcher over his career with the Reds.
The Cuban-born Pena could become the personal catcher for Aroldis Chapman once the latter is added to the starting rotation, and the aging Hanigan appears to cost more -- like Arroyo -- than the Reds are prepared to pay.
Robb Hoff has worked as a freelance researcher for ESPN's production and news departments for the past five years. You can read his articles about the 2013 Reds' season here.
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