Rob Biertempfel has a preview of the Winter Meetings for the Pittsburgh Pirates, detailing the positions of need for the team this off-season. In the starting pitching section, Biertempfel mentions that the Pirates have checked in on Bronson Arroyo.
Arroyo is a free agent, coming off a season with a 3.79 ERA in 202 innings, along with a 5.5 K/9 and a 1.5 BB/9. That followed a 2012 season where he had almost identical numbers, posting a 3.74 ERA in 202 innings, with a 5.8 K/9 and a 1.6 BB/9.
He’s not a dominant pitcher, and definitely not a top of the rotation guy. However, Arroyo has pitched 199+ innings each year since 2005. His advanced metrics are closer to league average, with a career 4.39 xFIP, although his numbers the last two years have been in the 4.00-4.20 range. What Arroyo could be expected to provide would be 200 innings a year with an ERA around 4.00. That’s not an ace, but it does have value.
The downside for Arroyo is that he’s a right-handed fly ball pitcher, which isn’t a good combination for PNC Park. He has been spending most of his career in the Great American Launching Pad, so there is a chance that his numbers wouldn’t change with a move to PNC Park.
One thing to remember is that “checking in” doesn’t mean Arroyo will be a Pirate. It might not even mean that they will pursue him with an offer. He’s not a flashy pitcher, but he’s also not a bad pitcher.