Free agent right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo vented his frustrations to ESPN’s Jayson Stark over not receiving an offer from an MLB franchise on Wednesday. Arroyo is heading into his age 37 season and told Stark he has not yet received an offer during the winter. Whereas pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Garza have recently found homes, Arroyo is one of a handful of arms out there still on the market. He told ESPN.com that he understands why Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw got the mammoth contract that he did. He didn’t however, get why someone like Daisuke Matsuzaka, who fell off after a good start, got so much money and then teams moved on and paid other unproven pitchers, according to the article. The story then quoted how Arroyo said it was hard for him because he did his job and was being neglected.
Arroyo was next quoted in saying he doesn’t even have an offer to turn down and isn’t trying to break the bank. Really, it’s hard to argue against where Arroyo is coming from. As Stark pointed out, only Arroyo and Mark Buehrle have thrown 199 innings or more in each of the past nine seasons. Stark also noted in his piece from 2005-2013, Arroyo started 297 games, tied with Dan Haren for the most of any pitcher in the entire game. Considering there’s a number of teams which could use a boost to its rotation, it certainly seems strange Arroyo is one of those series of pitchers still hoping to face big league hitters in 2014. Adding him would be highly beneficial to a team.
All one needs to know is Arroyo was part of a Cincinnati Reds staff in 2013 which posted a 3.38 team ERA, good enough for fourth lowest in the game. The Reds posted a 1.17 team WHIP last season, which bested every other club in baseball. Individually, Arroyo posted a 101 ERA+ and 1.153 WHIP. For the second year in a row, he hurled 202 innings. With the concern that a pitcher’s arm can blow out at any time and may need Tommy John surgery, Arroyo sure seems like a safe bet to stay off the disabled list.
However, while Arroyo’s frustration seems justifiable to me, there’s always another side, too. If Major League teams are reticent to give Arroyo an offer, perhaps there is something to it. Based on his stats in recent years, Arroyo seems like a good candidate to surrender a home run. He gave up 32 big flies in 2013, which all National League hurlers. In 2011, Arroyo allowed 46 dingers to leave the yard, more than any other pitcher in the game. Perhaps teams are looking to survey all of its options before offering a contract to Arroyo or other available starters.
Still, it seems perfectly natural for him to not like the fact he hasn’t gotten attention. Stark’s article reported Arroyo said his agent, Terry Bross, received contact from 12 MLB teams, but didn’t come close to a deal. Certainly some, if not all of the 12 teams which reached out to Bross could use help with its staff, and though Arroyo doesn’t quite have the numbers to be the ace of a staff, he has shown to be a very proven reliability who could help someone the way he has helped the Reds in the past. Perhaps speaking out could help the former All Star and Gold Glove winner. It’s not a matter of if, but when someone signs Arroyo, and then it’ll be up to him to make the other 29 teams regret not picking him up.