Bronson Arroyo has not received a single offer yet. Not one. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis.
Twelve teams have “shown interest in him”; none have been interested enough to make a serious play for the former Red’s services.
Let that sink in for a moment. This isn’t some scrub starting pitcher. This isn’t some nobody or never has been.
Since 2005, no pitcher in baseball has started more games than Arroyo(297), thrown more innings than Arroyo (1,895.2), or earned more wins than Arroyo(119). Only four pitchers have struck out more batters than Arroyo (1,212).
In modern history, he’s one of the most serviceable, reliable and dependable arms the game has seen. He never misses a start. He’s never once been on the disabled list. He’s a great teammate who has helped a lot of young pitchers he’s played with.
So why the heck isn’t his phone ringing? Why haven’t any of the 30 front offices in baseball tried to toss him even the lowest of low-ball offers?
It doesn’t make any sense. Not to me. And certainly not to Arroyo.
“I get why [Kershaw] got all that money,” Arroyo said in an interview with Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. “But then you’ve got guys like Dice-K [Matsuzaka], who came over here and was good for the first couple years but then didn’t pan out. And when he doesn’t pan out, they all just forget and go on to the next guy who’s not proven, and pay him.
“Meanwhile, they forget about guys like me, who have done the job for the last eight or 10 years, and treat them like they’ve never done anything in this game. That’s hard, man.”
Arroyo is reportedly seeking a three-year contract at around $30 million. He’s not going to get that much money, but the high asking price shouldn’t deter teams from at least trying to negotiate with him.
He’s one of four premiere starting pitchers left on the free agent market (along with Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez and now A.J. Burnett). Of those guys, he’s likely the most affordable option. And unlike Santana and Jimenez, signing Arroyo will not cost any compensatory draft picks (because the Reds did not make Arroyo a qualifying offer at the end of 2013).
Maybe it’s his age, you suggest? If he were another pitcher, perhaps. But as one AL executive put it when talking with Stark, “He’s 37, but going on 27.” Arroyo doesn’t overthrow or try to overpower hitters. He’s a loose and limber, casual thrower who relies on guile and disguise instead of hard heat. Arroyo’s mechanics and pitching style are effortless. The man could pitch well into his 40s without any signs of significant decline.
I just don’t get it. And neither does Arroyo.
“I don’t know what to do,” Arroyo told Stark. “I’m not trying to break the bank. But I am a guy who has performed for the last 10 years as consistently as anybody in the game. And for some reason, nobody’s thrown me an offer yet.”