It wasn't but a week ago that Bronson Arroyo expressed his frustration with the starting pitching market and claimed he'd yet to receive a contract offer from a major league team. Well, apparently things changed quickly for the veteran right-hander in the days that followed, because not only has he received offers — reportedly from up to three teams — but he officially agreed to a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks late Friday afternoon.
Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the two sides reached an agreement. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick adds that it's a two-year deal with a club option, which according to his colleague Buster Olney raises the total value of the deal to $23.5 million.
Arroyo's deal with Arizona: 9.5m in 2014, 9.5m 2015, 4.5m buyout on an $11m option on 2016
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 7, 2014
Arroyo, who turns 37 on Feb. 24, will be an interesting fit in Arizona. On one hand, he's an experienced and dependable middle-of-the rotation arm, having made at least 32 starts and surpassed 199 innings in each of the last nine seasons. Also, he's never once made a trip to the disabled list since debuting with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000. You won't find many pitchers who can claim that degree of durability, but every team is certainly looking for one.
On the other hand, as a flyball pitcher, he may not be the best fit in a home run happy ballpark like Chase Field. In fact, in two of the past three seasons, Arroyo led the National League in home runs surrendered, including an astounding 46 in 2011.
That number will have D-Backs fans cringing initially, but it's also important to remember much of that damage came in the even more hitter friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Chase will actually serve as an upgrade in surroundings. Beyond that, Arroyo has become quite adept at walking the tightrope and remaining useful despite the high home run totals, posting an ERA under 4.00 in four of the past five seasons.
The best way to describe Arroyo: He's not the flashiest guy around and certainly doesn't possess ace type stuff. He's just a true pitcher in every sense of the word. He's confident in his game and understands his limitations, which allows him to adjust, limit damage, survive, and live to pitch another valuable inning. That latter is what Arizona will count on the most.
Another important factor is this signing will give them more time to develop top prospect Archie Bradley.
The Arroyo signing most likely leaves prized prospect Archie Bradley out of the running for a starting job out of the chute
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 7, 2014
Bradley isn't far off at this point and will probably force Arizona's hand sooner than later, but with Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin, Brandon McCarthy, Trevor Cahill, and now Arroyo all locked in, it squashes the temptation to rush him into their rotation. That could end up paying off nicely for Arizona down the road.
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