Bronson Arroyo

Pirates Plan to Meet With Bronson Arroyo’s Agent

Yesterday we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates had checked in on Bronson Arroyo. Buster Olney reports today that they plan to meet with Arroyo’s agent.

Rob Biertempfel, who broke the original news on Arroyo, says that the right-hander is very interested in the Pirates.

The news on Arroyo indicates that the Pirates might be looking for alternatives to A.J. Burnett. The two pitchers aren’t the same at all. Burnett has been a top of the rotation pitcher the last two years. Arroyo is more of a strong number four starter. His value comes from the fact that he can provide league average numbers and throw 200 innings per year. He has thrown 199+ innings each year since 2005.

Arroyo would bring depth to the Pirates rotation, which would help in the short-term. In the long-term, they might be better off giving a shot to Stolmy Pimentel or giving another chance to Jeff Locke. The signing of a starting pitcher means that neither of those options would get a shot at the rotation, unless Wandy Rodriguez wasn’t healthy to start the season.

UPDATE 11:54 AM: The Twins will also be meeting with Arroyo’s agent.

UPDATE 2:58 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Twins are pushing hard for Arroyo and that the talks are gaining momentum.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • mbrannagan

    Not a fan of Arroyo. I don’t appreciate the way he has bad mouthed the organization in the past.

    • Nick A. Capernicus

      Eh organization is different now a days than then we all bad mouthed that organization

    • Y2JGQ2

      Arroyo is awful. He has no stuff. We have 10 pitchers in our organization better than him for the 5th rotation spot. I’d sooner fill the roster spot with Dontrelle Willis, at least he can hit.

  • Thom Kay

    I wonder if this is an indication of Wandy Rodriguez’s health. If they really don’t believe he’ll be back, this makes more sense.

    • Mr. Goodkat

      That’s a good point, I guess.

      I just still can’t get over the risk/reward of this deal. All indications seem to be that he’s going to get 1-2 years at a decent rate. For a 37 year old, back of the rotation pitcher that doesn’t fit into the “mold” they’ve been looking for, that seems like a pretty big risk.

      • Nick A. Capernicus

        44% ground ball rate

        • Nick A. Capernicus

          Which can improve here better ballpark thank reds

          • Andrew

            Reds were the best in baseball in turning balls into outs.

          • Jared

            His numbers are likely to not improve except for in the HR/FB category due to the defense of the Reds and how good they were as a team, better than the Pirates actually, at turning balls in play into outs.

          • Mr. Goodkat

            I’m not saying he wouldn’t bring value to the team, or that he won’t continue pitching as he has.

            But if he gets a 2-year deal for the money that is now being talked about, I feel that would be a poor allocation of limited resources.

            How much more value does he realistically offer than a replacement who is already on the roster? He certainly doesn’t seem to offer any potential upside — only risk of potential downside. Is that worth the dollars spent?

    • Thom Kay

      Arroyo had a similar yet slightly better FIP- and xFIP- than Wandy last year, for what that’s worth.

      As a bit of a FB pitcher, he could also benefit from Cutch instead of Choo.

      Having said all that, I don’t like Arroyo and hope we don’t sign him.

      • Y2JGQ2

        Its not worth much given the few innings Wandy pitched due to his health, and that his health surely impacted his performance when he was out there.

  • Marty

    When you look at what’s left in the starting pitching free agent market, I’d be okay with signing Arroyo. Yes he’s a fly ball pitcher, but he did that successfully at Great American Banbox, so why couldn’t he at PNC Park? Plus, he’s a very solid #4 starter. Which is what the Bucs need. He’ll give you 200 innings, and an ERA around or below 4. Plus, look at the other options right now. Jeff Locke, Phil Irwin, Brandon Cumpton, do you really think those guys are better options than Arroyo? I certainly don’t.

    • Kozy21

      I concur. Arroyo is nothing if not consistent. We have no idea what we’re going to get from any of our starters. I have faith in Ray Searage though. Liriano, Morton, and Cole could all regress. I don’t think Cole will regress though and I think Morton is going to be a Chris Carpenter lite late bloomer but Liriano is volatile. We don’t know what to make of Wandy. I still remember Arroyo badmouthing the Bucs as well and that left a bad taste in my mouth but the fact that he’s interested in the Pirates and he’s a crafty vet that could help the young pitchers makes him interesting. I feel like either Arroyo or Halladay would be fantastic veterans to tutor the young guys on this staff. I’d love for the Bucs to have a lefty or 2 though. Cole, Taillon, Kingham, Glasnow, and Heredia are all righties. Morton’s a righty and so is Arroyo. I guess that’s the appeal of Price to me. They announced this morning that the Sox are entertaining offers for Chris Sale. I’d give up Taillon and Kingham for Sale to be honest. If the Sox wanted say Taillon, Kingham, Bell, and Ramirez for Sale, I’d do it. He’s controlled for 6 more years. I’d take 6 years of the best left-handed pitcher not named Kershaw in a heartbeat… unless they wanted Polanco. I digress. I wouldn’t hate the idea of Arroyo.

      • Mr. Goodkat

        Indications are that they want more than that. I really don’t blame them based on the years of control…

        I would definitely consider the trade you proposed, but I don’t think Chicago would see that as enough. That would most likely get you 2 years of Price, but not 6 of Sale.

        • Y2JGQ2

          We have the richest system out there and that would be our top 3 pitching prospects. and potentially 5 players in the top 100.

          Noone has more than that to offer.

          • Y2JGQ2

            2 and 4 sorry, i was including Glasnow also for some reason in error

            • Mr. Goodkat

              That’s why I personally don’t think he’ll be dealt. Too much value having that many years of control left.

              We could easily submit the best offer. Doesn’t mean they have to take it (or that we should in the first place).

      • Jared

        Craziness all around…sell the whole top of the minor leagues for Sale just because he’s a lefty? No thank you.

        And Bronson Arroyo isn’t going to teach our starters how to do anything more than be mediocre…his 0.8 WAR last year is exactly 1.5 WAR less than Cole put up in essentially half a season…Justin Wilson would put up a better WAR and probably better numbers as a lefty starter. Consistently mediocre and allows way too many home runs…you are worried about Liriano regression? Liriano has only once had a HR/9 as bad as Arroyo had last year and that was in his rookie year…Liriano has a career 0.83 HR/9…Arroyo has a career 1.24!

        Again, NO thank you!

        • Kozy21

          Being good doesn’t make you a good teacher. Arroyo does a lot with little. The dude knows how to pitch. Was Ray Searage a good pitcher in the majors? Was Dave Duncan a good pitcher in the majors? No, but they are damn good pitching coaches. Most of the best managers and coaches were the fringe players and guys that rode the bench.

          • leefoo

            Uhhhhhhhh….Dave Duncan was a pretty fair CATCHER tho.

            Yeh, his pitching DID suck!

      • Y2JGQ2

        Consistently bad. Our offense cannot afford a pitcher who constantly gives up 3 runs in 6 innings. We fair far better with inconsistent pitchers since our offense is not steady. What i mean is this. a 4.00 ERA with a pitcher who pitches 2 games 1ER each in 6 innings and then 2 games with 4 runs in 6 innings has a better chance of us winning 2.5 games out of those 4 than does someone like Arroyo giving up 3 runs every outing.

    • Jared

      The Pirates would be stupid, yes I said stupid, to sign Arroyo. After what the Pirates did to him when they played him…and, considering that he’s likely to either get a raise or at least maintain a salary similar to the salary he just came off of, which was $16M…for a FIP or xFIP continually in the 4’s and a WAR no better than 2.4 since 2008. Sure, I’ll take Arroyo…at $5M, based on his excellent 0.8 WAR last year.


      • Marty

        WAR is the stupidest, yes I said stupidest, stat in baseball.

      • Tim Williams

        This isn’t an argument in favor of Arroyo, but I don’t think you can value a pitcher based on what the Pirates did against that pitcher. They hit him hard in September. They also had good games throughout the year against Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Tim Hudson, Jeff Samardzija, etc.

        Arroyo is what he is, a guy who puts up league average numbers over 200 innings per year. One game against the Pirates doesn’t define his value.

        • Jared

          Thanks for the reply, Tim. I agree you can’t value a pitcher based on how he does against one team. I looked at the last three seasons and he’s had bad numbers at PNC Park, although I believe its only been over like 9 or 10 innings so that is also not enough to judge. Again, none of this is really enough to discount him as a pitcher.

          What is enough to make me not want him? Exactly what you said…a league minimum pitcher who, I think, you can already get through internal players without spending $10-12M. Heck Brandon Cumpton gave us a 0.7 WAR last year in only 30.2 innings of work.

      • Nick A. Capernicus

        I remember you wining about us not making moves and now we are and o let’s complain… also I forgot that ever starter has to be a teacher. Ya Aj is great for that but we also have a pitching coach who gets paid to do that.also idk if you know but Reds stadium is a home run Haven so

        • Jared

          Before you reply you should actually read what is said. I was replying specifically to someone else’s suggestion that he could teach the staff…or did you miss that?

          Second, I have NOT been saying that the Pirates should make moves, must miss all the 100 times I have said that the FA market sucks and I am not a fan of the available players.

          Again, get your facts straight…I haven’t been clamoring for moves because I know the quality in the free agent market is bad…and guess what? The quality of the free agent market now is bad…and that include Bronson Arroyo. So I, again, say no thank you.

          • Y2JGQ2

            Jared- love it. Agree 100%

            We missed the boats that floated by so lets not leave our life raft in order to float on a hunk of rotting driftwood. If ever there was an aprt description of Arroyo’s value, that is it. That is all.

  • jon6er

    I am ill thinking of spending a dime on this guy. The Pirates line-up made him look pedestrian pre-Byrd and that should tell you all you need to know about a pitcher.

  • wkkortas

    Maybe they’re just interested in Bross as a set-up guy.

  • Vicente Barletta

    The WhiteSox are open to listen on Chris Sale. That is a player I would go after. Maybe not for Polanco, but Taillon.
    He has 5 years of control at a affordable price for the Pirates.
    2014:$3.5M, 15:$6M, 16:$9.15M, 17:$12M, 18:$12.5M club option ($1M buyout), 19:$13.5M club option ($1M buyout).
    Any thoughts?

    • Scott Skink

      If it only took Taillon (and no other top 10 prospects), I’d definitely consider Sale. There’s nothing not to like with what Sale offers. Taillon would be hard pressed to match Sale’s numbers and Sale should far outperform his current contract. Bucs would still have Glasnow and Kingham. It would be like adding a second Cole to the rotation – and have him for the entire season. Now THAT, more than any other pitcher acquisition, would make not signing AJ a moot point.

      • TonyC17

        No way that Taillon would be all that it took. It would take at least 2 top ten prospects for Sale and I would be all for it.

        • Jared

          If the Pirates could get away with trading from a position of strength: Taillon+an OF prospect then it wouldn’t be a terrible idea. I guess you get one less guaranteed year of control for him as you do Taillon so it could work decently value-wise.

          • Vicente Barletta

            Something like Taillon, Bell and Barmes might do it. Maybe throw in Hanson if the WhiteSox send us Alexei Ramirez. They get 4 legit prospects and salary relief.

            • Jared

              Barmes is a free agent who we do not control and therefore cannot trade.

            • Piratefan13

              It sure is easy for everyone to trade away Taillon considering he’s down in the minors out of sight from the average fan. There are reports that he will surpass Cole in development. If it is a straight up trade…. maybe. You can’t just start tossing in top 10 prospects like they are candy. As far as Ramirez goes… no thanks, we already have an average SS with good hitting numbers and he costs a ton less and he is much younger.

      • Bruce Humbert

        The Sox have an awful farm system – and might be willing to go with one top 10 and a two or three third/fourth [Lambo?] tier prospects – and you might land Sale. They need to have a top 10 included – but might value numbers over quality at some point.

        I have always kind of liked Bronson – but not sure he works as a righty in PNC – and Sale is a real value versus his contract versus what Arroyo will likely want – then their is the age thing.

        • Scott Skink

          That’s kinda what I was thinking – one marquee name (Taillon) then a whole lot of crapshoots (a la LaRoche/Moss/Hansen, for minor league depth with a potential gem among them. I’d even consider Meadows, who’s several years away, or Bell (whom I’m not that high on) if that’s what it took to make a Sale deal happen. But not Polanco, Hanson, Glasnow or Kingham or even McGuire.

  • Kevin_Young

    Just in general I’d like to point out that Fangraphs WAR isn’t the be all-end all player valuation tool. It’s a good tool and has the most reliable defensive calculations, but don’t blindly look at Arroyo’s Fangraphs page for 1 year and say he’s a mostly worthless player. Baseball reference has him a good bit higher, and you can be sure that the Pirates have their own internal calculations. I think we’ve gotten a little lazy in our idea of ‘valuation’.

    • Jared

      I also use the eye test…he is not a quality pitcher, especially for the price. You do realize that by virtually any WAR he hasn’t been worth his contract in years, right? He also would have the worst HR/9 on our staff…which runs completely against what the Pirates try to do defensively.

      • Kevin_Young

        Just to have some fun…On baseball reference his WAR in the last 2 years comes out to 6.1, and he’s made 28 mil. That happens to come out to under 5 mil per win, which would qualify him as a “good value.” And i shouldn’t really have to point out that his HR/9 would very very likely drop simply from the ballpark move. And also, I could be crazy, but I wouldn’t be crazy to say that we could have the best defensive OF in baseball and shifts do apply there as well.

        • Jared

          Baseball-Reference has Bronson Arroyo as having a higher war than AJ Burnett both in 2012 and 2013, with AJ only having a 1.7 WAR last year.

          Very hard to trust those numbers when you look at every single stat-line for the two pitchers and AJ wins.

          • Kevin_Young

            I don’t disagree, AJ is definitely a better pitcher, but Arroyo’s not a bum, he’s far from it. Consistency and reliability arr tremendous things. If we have Bronson Arroyo last year, we likely don’t start Jonathan Sanchez ever, or Kris Johnson in a key game at the end of the year.
            I know he’s not awesome, but he’s worth a contract.

    • Andrew

      Good point about valuations, the Fangraphs writers openly admit the either FIP based WAR or RA-9 WAR are incorrect.

      The idea of Arroyo improving because Seager/shifting/ballpark does not hold water. Searage is not going to have a guy throw 87 mph sinkers. The Reds were the best team at turning balls into outs so there is not going to be any benefit from the Pirates shifting. (Also defensive efficiency have a year to year correlation similar to batting average.) His HR/FB% will come down but this is the only area that he can improve, his career xFIP is 4.40. I agree with the assessment that the Pirates already have options similar to Arroyo.

  • leefoo

    Bronson Arroyo has one of the coolest windups EVER in baseball.

    Other than that…………

  • Jared

    I guess the Twins are also in on Bronson Arroyo and, actually, 15 teams have “checked-in” on him, although as has been discussed here before “checking-in” doesn’t amount to much. However, indications are that he is looking for a multi-year deal at least on par with Tim Hudson’s (he’d like 2-3 years with an annual salary more than/around $12M).

    Nick Cafardo indicated via twitter that Arroyo has had calls from 15 teams so far…

  • Hidden Vigorish

    If they bring back a former Pirate I’d rather it be Paul Maholm. Personally I think the best free agent option still available is Joe Saunders. Only way I’d want Arroyo is if he it comes well below market. The market for SP has been picked clean at this point but I’d still take 3 or 4 other guys out of the bargain bin ahead of Arroyo.

  • Mr. Goodkat

    I would rather take a CHEAP flyer on boom/bust guy like Roy Holliday or Johan Santana if we’re looking for back of the rotation depth.

    I’m not sure you could get either on a minor league deal, but being damaged goods I have a hard time seeing either getting more than a small 1-year deal.

    If he sucks, you cut him. If he gets re-injured, at least he was cheap.

    I guess I have more confidence in Locke than most, though. I think with some adjustments he could be a fine #5 starter for a full season.

    • Mr. Goodkat

      Sounds like Doc Holliday retired this afternoon.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    Please, no!!

    Bring back AJ – who is much more effective.

    At this best, Arroyo has never been more than mediocre. Cumpton and Irwin (or even Taillon) would be better and cheaper options. I’d rather invest this money in trying to get a first baseman or RF – Loney, Lind, LoMo, Moreland, etc. Pitching is not the problem.

  • Roberrto21

    Just say No to Arroyo! The Pirates have equivalent or better options internally – Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson, Stolmy Pimentel, Phil Irwin, Brandon Compton. They do not need to allocate scarce resources (presume that Arroyo would command $8 – $10m and would demand at least 2 years(unbelievable for a “replacement level” starter!). It would make far moire sense to pay AJ for 1 year even at the QO of 14.1 m – he is far superior to Arroyo in terms of stuff, competitiveness and leadership. I hope that the Twins beat the Pirates out of Arroyo!!! As previous post correctly states, they would be better off putting the resources to 1b.

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