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D-backs won't rule rookie Bradley out of rotation

The SportsXchange

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The acquisition of free agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo does not necessarily signal the end of top prospect Archie Bradley's chance to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation, general manager Kevin Towers made clear.

The D-backs will break camp with the five starters most likely to contribute, Towers said, and if rookie right-hander Bradley is among them, that is the way it will go down. Some speculated that the D-backs could start Bradley, 21, in the minor leagues in order to delay his arbitration clock, but Towers pooh-poohed that idea Sunday.

"We want to get out of the gate quick," Towers said. "I've said from the beginning, with Archie, it's not about trying to save a year, save money. We need to win games. If he's ready coming out of the spring and we're a better ballclub with Archie being in it, he's going to be there."

Left-handers Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley and right-handers Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy entered camp as the top candidates for the first four spots in the rotation, with right-hander Randall Delgado and Bradley competing for a job. Arroyo, who averaged 13 victories and 211 innings the past nine seasons, certainly will be in the rotation.

On Friday, Arroyo agreed to a two-year contract with an option for 2016 that will pay him $9.5 million in 2014 and 2015 and includes an $11 million option with a $4.5 million buyout in 2016. It is similar to the deal two-year, $23 million deal free agent right-hander Tim Hudson signed with the San Francisco Giants in the offseason.

Towers said of Bradley, "I'm sure there is probably some disappointment, 'Am I the odd man out?' But I don't think that's his mentality either. I don't think Archie has ever viewed himself as a fifth guy anyway. Knowing Archie, one of the veterans is out and he's in. I want it to be a competitive spring and him to approach this spring no differently than when Arroyo's name came up."

Bradley went 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA at Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile last season, making 21 of his 26 starts for Mobile. He struck out 162 in 152 innings, walking 69. He said he plans to continue to work on his changeup this spring.

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