Pirates Have Talked to Bronson Arroyo

According to Jayson Stark, the Pittsburgh Pirates have called about free agent pitcher Bronson Arroyo. He didn’t pitch during the 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery. The 38-year-old(39 in February) had a 4.08 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 86 innings over 14 starts during the 2014 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It’s unknown at this time if the signing of Ryan Vogelsong would mean they no longer have interest in Arroyo, but it’s doubtful that the Pirates would go into the 2016 season without a decent option for a sixth starter. Right now that would be Wilfredo Boscan, as the rest of the Indianapolis rotation appears to be Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams and/or Steven Brault, and none of them are ready for the majors. That would leave the Pirates without a decent sixth starter early in the season, so Arroyo could fit that role if he couldn’t win a starting role.

For now it appears there is a lot of interest in the free agent pitcher, so it’s something to keep an eye on. The Pirates will likely sign another starting pitcher for depth, whether it is Arroyo or someone similar. There is also still the chance they sign someone better who pushes Jeff Locke and Ryan Vogelsong into a battle for the fifth spot, instead of just picking up someone to compete with them.

  • What comes around goes around, great opportunity for an incentive laden contract!

  • its amazing how 12 pounds of weed can make you feel “just fine”

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 21, 2015 10:10 am

    If the Pirates hadn’t wasted payroll on Vogelsong and Rodriguez, maybe they could have signed a real quality starting pitcher like Kazmir – instead, it looks like the Pirates are not even in the conversation for Kazmir.
    Instead of Vogelsong, we could have signed Henderson Alvarez for about the same amount of total compensation, when you include the incentives.

  • After flipping burgers on the grill and casting lures both forehand and backhand without discomfort for the past six months, Bronson declares himself “perfectly fine.” Neal offers $2m plus incentives because somebody has to suit up in 2016 until the prospects arrive, and this is a cheap option.

  • Please God no….

  • This dumpster diving is getting ridiculous

  • “Stop calling us” is what they said.

  • If they called on him, wonder if they’ll check in on Cliff Lee. Neal knows him from Cleveland days, would likely be an incentive laden contract, has lots of post season experience, is a lefty, and not afraid to pitch to contact, a Pirate specialty.

  • I am convinced that the plan is to leave room for bell, hanson and glasnow. Teams like the pirates can not be afraid of youth and must continue to not block them with older one year guys. If you don’t believe it see the penguins.

    • The Cubs were a mediocre squad until they promoted Russell, Bryant and Schwarber. Maybe Glasnow, Taillon, Bell and Hanson will do the same to the apparently mediocre squad that’s been assembled so far.

      • But the pirates are not mediocre right now. They are much better we did not subtract our key pieces that make the team win games.

  • This team was probably going to take a step back no matter what they did. 98 wins is a ridiculous amount of wins. Wins don’t always tell you how good a team is but, we’re basically replacing Walker with Harrison, Morse with Alvarez, Burnett with Niese, Happ with Vogelsong and Bastardo with Nicasio even though Nicasio is right handed. Hopefully they can still add another bullpen arm or two to cover the loss of Blanton. Holdzkom should be a factor this year. The problem is this isn’t enough to hang with the Cubs. Anyone who believes it is ,is delusional . This current team can stay competitive sure. But isn’t the object to improve?

  • I have just two words:: Ian Snell

  • A pretty sensible “kick-the-tires” inquiry by the Pirates. I never did think he was very good, but he knows how to pitch, and always managed to trot out there for 30 starts/200 IP a year. I was impressed with his GB % the last year he pitched, and he is a solid clubhouse presence.

    I wonder what he is asking and if he would entertain a minor league contract with a date where he would be promoted or become a FA similar to Richards last year?

  • Off topic, but nonetheless I digress… A quick question for the experts out there. The Pirates did not tender arbitration to Pedro Alvarez, which meant that he immediately became a free agent. That much I understand. But my question is this. Now that Alvarez is a free agent, could the Pirates re-sign him to a new contract (either MLB or as a minor leaguer with an invite to spring training) if Alvarez doesn’t get a suitable deal offered to him from the other 29 teams. Are there any MLB rules in place that would not allow the Pirates to resign Alvarez (obviously for a lesser amount than what he would have gotten via arbitration) once the Pirates decided not to tender him arbitration and allow him to walk? I realize its unlikely to happen but let’s play devil’s advocate for a second. Obviously, the Pirates were not going to tender arbitration to Alvarez for the amount of money he was projected to get. But if the Pirates could resign him for a lesser amount, should they?

    • Alvarez could be resigned.
      Doubt there would be interest from either side.
      This is something I would have been against till recently. But there is no market for improving the 1B upgrade needed by the Bucs. How much should x amount of errors offset y amount of HRs? Now, today, IMO bringing him back wouldn’t be so bad. If it was at $5 or $6.

      • agree with every word. He will likely get a 1/5 or 1/6 deal with about 2-3 million in incentives at best from an al team

  • Bringing back old friends is a good strategy and both guys are good solid players. Replacement level for the most part.
    Chicago signs 38 yr old Lackey and there was good move posts, same kind of move with RV with same potential. Both just innings eaters.

    • No.

      Not even.

      • I’m also in my mid to late 30s. Can I has baseball?

        • All night party?

        • Of course, because Lackey = Vogelsong = NMR.

          Heck, considering the deal the Pirates got Vogelsong for…as he’s the equivalent to Lackey…they could just use the difference to pay you. I mean, if you’re willing to take the pay cut.

          • I’m 37 with a torn labrum, but i suspect my discounted value and Ray Searage could off-set those problems. I’m willing to committ to the fantasy camp as well

    • Two guys moving in opposite directions. One had a WAR of 5.7 last season; the other has a 2.0 or less over his career. All one has is 2 good seasons as a Giant. Otherwise, he’s been well below average.

    • Bringing back possibly the two worst #5 starters we had in the darkest years in our organization, and putting them in the same rotation is as close to hara kiri that i’ve ever seen

  • Alright, now it’s just getting stupid. Bronson friggin arroyo?

  • Thinking about it a little bit, I surmise they won’t ever commit to a pitcher on a multi year deal without the one year test drive first. Unless another team picks up significant salary (Burnett). Liriano and Volquez fit this. Morton was around awhile before he was extended. I think the moment Happ walked they weren’t handing out a multi year deal to anyone. It even applies to Niese with the options, they can pullout if it goes bad in one year.

    I don’t agree with that, I just think that’s a possible doctrine they have.

  • The discussion with Bronson Arroyo should last 5 seconds:

    “Yo Bronson, what up!”

    If that’s the best they can do, they’re looking at a 75 win season, and only because the Reds and Brewers will be awful!

    The Vogelsong signing is uninspiring, too!

    What is going on here?

  • Why doesn’t NH drive down to Maryland talk to AJ and ask him to give us three months until one of the AAA guys are ready. I would rather have him for three months then what we have acquired.

  • My friends and I were joking about Bro-yo yesterday. For you South Park fans out there, “Biggie Smalls, Biggie Smalls, Biggie Smalls.”

  • I just don’t understand why everyone thinks sky is falling. The pirates have a play-off caliber roster right now. Every move they have made has made sense. The outfield is the best is baseball. Infield of kang, Harrison, Mercer, and srod/morse are great defensively and good at the plate. The rotation cole/lirano/niese/locke/rv will keep them in any game. The pirates best players will always come from the farm or savvy moves. What are people expecting.

    • One of those savvy moves you speak of would be awful nice.

    • I’m trying to be patient with the Pirates decisions about reclamation projects bc they’ve shown to have a good track record, but man is this getting old. Spend some money and go for someone that’s not a gamble and a “hope” at turning his career around.

    • That infield is far from good at the plate. Some notorious slow starters there.

    • I’m more optimistic than most, but even I have to take issue with “EVERY” move having made sense. Sean Rodriguez at $2.5M makes NO sense to me. If he fills the 25th man role, that’s an overpay. And he doesn’t hit nearly well enough to fill Harrison’s shoes. I think I see the Oakland A’s logic in upgrading the bench, since the team got zilch out of the 4th OF/backup 1B/MI spots, but Rodriguez was one of the perpetrators, and bringing him back at a raise is unfathomable.

      I do like the Rogers and Nicasio acquisitions. If NH brings in a guy who can reasonably project as a #3 and a utility guy who can hit, then these moves make more sense. Bring in a non-zero LH 1B like Jaso and I’ll tip my cap.

      • Srod is a super utility player. They like his glove and will provide depth once bell had arrived. 2.5 is not very much in the mlb world.

        • He is barely defensively adequate at every position they put him at- and can’t hit better than an average AAA hitter. Not sure how that gets you a “super” anything label.

    • They have a pretty good team now. It would be hard not to, with Cutch, Marte, Liriano and Cole on it. But I was hoping for more. For example, when you have a chance to upgrade from a 0 win player (Pedro) and you upgrade to 0.5 WAR that’s disappointing. When you lose Burnett/Happ and replace it with Niese and Vogelsong, that’s disappointing.

      I also feel like the had some cash and they squandered it on tiny moves instead of putting it together for a bigger move. A few million here and there adds up.

      I don’t see this team as a playoff favorite. Playoffs are possible, sure. But the Cubs, Nats, Giants, Dodgers, Cards, Mets all look good too. That’s seven teams for 5 spots with a team that’s slightly worse than last year, so I’m disappointed.

      All along I was waiting, not panicking, figuring move X, Y or Z doesn’t bother me because it’s not the only move. Then finally, from comments made by NH, it sounds like they are pretty much done and the team isn’t any better. Sure, it’s still pretty good, but I was hoping for more.

      • You don’t have to be a play-off favorite now. You just have to get in. The success of this team will be determined by our own guys taking the next step. Polanco becomes confident at the plate. Harrison and Mercer start better. Bell and glasnow make am impact as rookies. Marte and cutch have all.star years.

  • Are they paying him to pitch or to replace Morton’s singer/songwriter/guitarist role in the clubhouse?

  • Sky’s not falling (yet). Comparing the opening day-ish roster from last year and the 2016 team so far:

    1B: replaced Pedro + Hart with Morse + Rogers, 1/2 win upgrade
    2B: replaced Walker with Harrison, even
    Super-U: Rodriguez takes Harrison’s spot, 1-win downgrade
    4tf OF: Lambo/Tabata/Gorkys/Decker to ? – those guys were collectively below replacement, so it would be hard not to upgrade.
    2nd middle infielder: somebody takes Rodriguez’s spot, hoping to upgrade on his -0.2 WAR.

    #3 SP: Burnett to Niese, 1-win downgrade
    #4 SP: Worley/Morton to Vogelsong, 1-win downgrade
    Bullpen: Liz/Worley to Nicasio, 1/2 win upgrade
    Bullpen: will have to replace Bastardo’s 1/2 win.

    A replacement level 4th OF and 2nd middle IF, and a 1/2 WAR LOOGY puts the 2016 team 1 1/2 wins behind the 2015 opening day roster.

    You can’t tell me NH can’t find 1 1/2 more wins on the open market between now and February.

    • Sometimes those calculations aren’t worth anything. Look at he current roster as constructed, and tell me they are only down 1 1/2 wins. Put the calculator aside and trust what you have seen in you years of watching baseball.

      • My eyes tell me more or less the same. Offense will miss Alvarez and Walker, but among the returning starters (Marte, Polanco, Cutch, Kang, Mercer, Harrison and Cervelli), only Cervelli should be expected to be worse and there’s certainly room for improvement in Mercer and Polanco. I like Rogers – he’s not great, but he puts the ball in play with plus authority and can take a walk. I’d like him a whole lot more if NH would sign a LH 1B, putting Rogers in the “Hart+Lambo” role, but even as the majority starter I don’t hate it.

        Defense will be significantly better – you take away the two worst fielders on the team and replace them with competent guys, you’ll be amazed at the impact.

        I’m not worried about the bullpen, but that’s because Nicasio is one of my guys. As long as they don’t go into the season with LaFromboise as the LOOGY it’ll be as good or better than last year.

        The rotation is a letdown. Huge Burnett-sized hole. But that’s ONE GUY. If they sign Latos or Kazmir, I’ll be satisfied this team can hold the fort until Bell, Taillon and Glasnow arrive.

        If they don’t, it’s clear the strategy involves a lot of finger crossing that the defense and Searage help the back end of the rotation outperform. And even then, I think they’re no worse than the Cardinals, who have lost a lot more value and have brought in no one.

        • Still a huge hole at #3 starter. There is no balance at all in the lineup, with only one LH bat. El Coffee better tear it up in innings 1 thru 6, because he’ll see a steady diet of lefty bullpen guys from 7th on. Bucs won’t even make it difficult for opposing manager in figuring out when to use said lefties. There will be one target, and his name is Polanco. 43 HRs walked out with Pedro and Walker, nothing has been done to replace them. The financial flexibility and patience mantra is wearing thin and getting old.

          • Yeah, the all-right-handed thing is so stark it almost seems like an affirmative strategy. Which is weird, given their home park and the relative lack of LH SP in the division.

    • How about anywhere from a 1.5-2.5 win downgrade on the S-Rod replacing Harrison in super Util maybe more.

      • Nope, Harrison last year (~1.3 WAR) to SRod this year (~0.3) is just a win.

        • It depends on where you get your WAR numbers but fangraphs has J-Ha at 1.3 and baseball ref at 1.8 WAR. I think Harrison is fairly safe bet to at least slightly improve on that in ’16, especially if he plays more at 2B. So go “nope” somebody else.

          • Baseball Reference doesn’t project WAR for 2016, so using it to compare 2015 actuals to 2016 projections is pointless. Only Fangraphs has both, so that’s what I used.

            Thus, 2015 Harrison (1.3) vs. 2016 Rodriguez (0.3) is one win.

            Since Harrison has already been named the starting 2B, 2016 Harrison gets compared to 2015 Walker, so his improvement (which is accounted for) is baked into the 2B comparison, which winds up a dead heat.

            I didn’t mean anything sinister by the “nope” – I’m sorry you took offense. But if you understand the methodology, -1 WAR is the only answer you can arrive at.

            • There is no projection I would have S-Rod as a +0.3 WAR in but I get it. Actually I would expect Harrison to beat that by about a half of a point.

    • Stephen, are you not seeing the broader picture? Staying the same, or a small step down, isn’t going to work when you have other teams getting better. I have tried to be objective looking at this team as it currently stands, and I see us looking up at the Cubs, D-Backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Giants, and Mets. We may be treading water with the Cardinals and the Padres. That is NOT what I wanted or expected to see. We can talk all about the AAA Avenger’s waiting in the wings, but by the time June arrives (thanks to the dim witted system the CBA/MLB have in place), we could be so far out of it that the July trade deadline will be a fire sale in Pittsburgh.

      I am glad that some people are optimistic about the upcoming year and I hope all of you that share that feeling are correct. However, I have had the pleasure of watching my Pirate’s win 3 World Series, but my 2 son’s haven’t, and it sure as hell would be fun to share one with them before I leave this world. At this rate, I do not see that happening unless there are some moves made by the FO that make us BETTER then last year.

      • I see the broader picture just fine, LJS. The Pirates lost ground and now rate as the 7th best team in the NL, about a 1/2 win behind the Giants and 1 1/2 behind the Cardinals for what would be the 2nd WC. Which is to say, even if NH makes no further moves – standing pat with Niese as the #3 and Vogelsong as the #4, filling the LOOGY role with LaFromboise, the 4th OF role with Goebbert and the 2nd MI role with Florimon – this is still a solidly above-average team. There’s no rational reason to think the Pirates will be “so far out of it” – whether the division or the wildcard – in freaking June. That’s just good old fashioned pessimism, Pittsburgh style.

        That said, if the front office DOES stand pat, it deserves all the criticism due, whether the plan works out of not. There are moves that can be made within the reported $100 – $105M budget that will improve the club, and there’s no excuse for not making them. To wit:

        Latos: 1.3 WAR improvement over Ryan Vogelsong

        Fister: 1 WAR

        Thornton/Parra/Cotts: 0.3 – 0.4 WAR

        Kelly Johnson: 0.3 WAR

        Jaso/Morneau 0.5 – 1 WAR

        And that’s not even going for Kazmir, who would add 2 wins, but soak up a lot of that salary.

    • Harrison already played full time so it’s really like replacing Walker with Rodriguez. With all the talk of looking for a 1st baseman they don’t believe Morse is the answer. Essentially they traded Walker/Morton for Niese/ and a bunch of guys 3 million each to cover 1st base and pitcher spots and hope they can cover. It also creates a weaker bench. The argument was the team was so good it was hard to upgrade at anyone position without spending a lot of money. They made their job easier now they can upgrade without spending a lot of money.

  • I wish there was more attention paid to getting a decent 3rd starter than a decent 6th starter.

  • Waiting to see what Pirates are going to do to get the fans, and players for that matter, excited about having an improved team for next season. Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Vogelson ain’t it!

    • You just wait until Huntington exposes the next market inefficiency: low upside, soft tossing 40 year old righties will take 2016 by storm. 😉

      • And they have to had played for the Pirates during the last 30 years. Walk was seen leaving NH’s office with a ticket to Bradenton.

        • HartHighPirate
          December 20, 2015 1:16 am

          Walk will meet Tim Wakefield in Bradenton. Walk has long wanted to throw the knuckler and Wakefield will teach him to increase his velocity.

      • It’s infuriating even for an optimist like me. No wonder the average fan is up in arms.

  • I got it, maybe we should contact James McDonald.
    He could pitch and also be our 4th outfielder.

  • I hope this would be a minor league offer to Arroyo
    with invitation to spring training and nothing more.

    Incentives if he can actually help us.

  • Personally I would prefer that we sign no-name-recognition AAAA pitchers DFAed by other teams or reclamation projects out of the Caribbean with limited time in the majors for me to bitch about being a potential 6th or 7th starter on the depth chart. This premise of plucking veterans that might have some upside left to them in order to eat starts in case of injury or the inability to sign a #3 this offseason is total bullhockey.

  • If we’re reaching back to the 2002 team…Pokey Reese is probably available to fill the hole at 2B.

  • Oh yeah, what a nightmare. To have a couple of more experienced guys pitching in Indianapolis would be nerve wracking.

  • Don’t worry about these old guys. Focus your attention on Indianapolis, fellas. Like it or not, right or wrong, those are where the solutions are…Or not.

    • They’re not coming until mid-June. There will be about 70 games to play before then, and staying in contention for the postseason may not be possible.

      • They are punting on 2016. I’m talking about beyond.

        • I agree they are punting on ’16 and that is the problem. Watching them waste a year of Cutch and Cole is beyond disappointing.

          • Yes. Totally. As the year goes along, they’ll get more and more heat for that exact point.

        • it’s clear Schoenfeld and his article were right on point. If you’re going to waste a year of Cutch, you might as well sell as high as possible and restock your team with high end prospects. Cutch to the Indians for Salazar, Carrasco and Clint Frazier. The longer you wait the more his value drops.

        • using football analogies, they aren’t punting. They are running that all popular 3rd down and 20 draw up the middle. Playing it super safe, and if they happen to get luckily and get a first down well…..then they will refuel. It’s not far off from punting, but it’s a step before punting

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 19, 2015 6:44 pm

    That would put the icing on the cake of the previous two dumb moves

  • At this point, give Lincecum a shot if we are just looking for a cheap and maybe get lucky pitcher.

    Honestly, I find this entire off season a nightmare so far. I am beginning to agree with the post on Pitt Tribune where the poster said “I believe this years slogan is “Surrender in December.””

  • I heard Francisco Cordova is available. I mean, the dude pitched a no-no after all (had the fortune of being at that game). Of course, thinking about the recent reclamation projects the Pirates have turned around, it wouldn’t surprise me if Searage could get some value out of him.

    Oddly enough, I saw Arroyo’s first game in the majors.

    • sadly it wasn’t his last….oh the poor fortunes of the cincy reds and their love affair with a player whom could have led them to a lifetime of mediocrity

  • The Pirates have called, to book him for a FanJam.

  • Are the Pirates on a baseball version of food stamps or something? Shopping at crazy Larry’s discount house of washed-up pitchers.

    • The way things are going the Pirates will have enough reclamation projects to be declared an EPA Superfund site.

  • Can’t wait to see tomorrow how we offered jason Schmidt, tim Wakefield, and Jon Leiber deals

  • I’d expect nothing less!