Pirates Still Interested in Bronson Arroyo

According to Maury Brown, the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of four teams in the mix for free agent right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Just over a month ago, Jayson Stark reported that the Pirates called about Arroyo. Nothing has changed with their rotation since then, as Ryan Vogelsong was already signed at the time. So it sounds like the Pirates still consider Arroyo as an option, possibly to compete with Vogelsong for the fifth spot in the rotation. It also indicates that they aren’t done shopping for pitching this off-season, with 23 days left before pitchers and catchers begin to report to Spring Training.

Arroyo 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.

UPDATE 11:03 AM: Analysis from Tim Williams…

The last time the rumor came around, I figured this fell in line with the usual Triple-A reclamation project the Pirates bring in. Arroyo seems like the type of guy who would come in on a minor league deal, get some work in Triple-A to show what he can do, and then get the call early in the season if he’s needed. The Pirates usually add one of those guys for immediate depth out of Triple-A, and they haven’t made that addition this year. So the Arroyo rumor makes sense if that’s the position they’re looking at for him.

I don’t see Arroyo as a guy who would be better than Ryan Vogelsong for the fifth starter spot, and that comes with the note that I don’t see Vogelsong as a guy who should be the fifth starter. The bullpen is pretty loaded with options, and I don’t think Arroyo fits there either. So the only fit appears to be a minor league deal where he could be a starter out of Triple-A, and possibly some early season depth.

  • Not much upside to Arroyo, but love the leg kick.

    The dude always has eaten a lot of innings too, never the worst quality in a back-of-the-rotation arm.

  • I like Arroyo for his clubhouse presence. Mat Latos spoke about how great a teammate Arroyo was with the Reds, and that he’s the kind of guy who is all about business in the dugout, for the four hours of game time. He doesn’t play on his phone or sleep in the back like the new generation of whiny immature ballplayers seem to be doing.

    I’d like the Bucs to get him. If he is truly healthy, he can be a great asset for a contending team. The Pirates can use a guy like him, especially now without A.J. Burnett around to show the kids how it’s done, as a leader by example.

  • Best part of the article? The admission that Vogelsong has no business being the 5th starter…

  • I don’t mind him sitting in AAA. But other than that- worthless.

  • Off topic, but how do you all feel about all the opt outs? I feel these will need to be addressed/limited in the next CBA. Unless I am missing something and they are mutual, all of the leverage is to the player. If they have a big year, they can become a FA again, if they stink they just opt in.

    • I think you have to also remember that the team gets the player at a lower price when they agree to an opt out. The opt out isn’t “free” to the player, it comes with a price. Obviously impossible to quantify for us outsiders, but it’s real.

      • Not necessarily…

        Look at Cespedes. First year is $27.5M. Last two are $23.75M each. He is an exception…but he also may be a precedent.

        I’m torn on the opt out…on the surface I don’t like it…but, is it really any different than club controlled option years? Not really.

        • Cespedes turned down more than $100m from the Nats.

          • Yeah, but I believe that was over five years. This deal makes sense for him…after one season and $27.5M (so long as he doesn’t implode), he heads into next year as the top free agent hitter on the market and shouldn’t have any problem getting another $100M offer.

            And, if he stinks…he still has $45M+ coming his way. Not a bad situation to be in.

            Was just a little taken aback that the deal was frontloaded…but, I suppose, the above is why.

    • Also remember that an exercised opt out comes with a de facto first round pick going back to the team…if the player opts out of his contract for a better deal he almost certainly is a safe bet to turn down a qualifying offer.

      • and all jerzies of the opt out player, can be returned for a refund at the players expense.

    • player only, team cannot send him packing if the player is hurt or has a bad year.

    • I feel its the player/agent answer to the team friendly deal. Not all of them are going to work out, but I think its going to become the norm.
      CBA expires next year. Lot of interesting stuff with this, super 2, arbitration in general, and so on.

  • I’m guessing we know who the lefty in the pen is now…LaFromboise was just DFA’d by the Angels.

    • I’m not sure LaFromboise fits with what the Bucs want from their bullpen. He doesn’t seem capable of multiple inning appearances like the Pirates have stated they want from their pen.

  • “How Ray Searage can get Steve Blass to throw strikes and be an early season rotation option”

    • I thought that was a secret! Wow you must be wired in to the PBC. I thought Ian Snell would be the sleeper cell pither.

  • Pirates interested in Francisco Cordova. Fallback option Bruce Kison. Hell , get Blass out of the booth and see if Searage can work his magic.

  • yeah…

  • Each week begins with Mat Latos asking his agent, “so, what’s the latest? Any offers?” and the agent responding, “Pittsburgh’s offer of $8M is still on the table. Nobody else is returning calls.” After a period of silence, Latos responds, “OK, keep trying. Let’s talk next week!”

    • Whatever became of the Bowtie Bar confrontation involving the lovely Ms Mat and some Pirates fans? He may have the option to sign with 29 other teams, the 30th being the Pirates.

      • While that incident certainly doesn’t help the Pirates’ chances, what does help is the growing list of charred bridges Latos has left behind throughout the league. He will not soon be welcomed back in Cincinnati, Miami, Los Angeles (either one), nor, likely, San Diego.

        • unless Latos changes his outlook on life, I don’t want him. There is a lot to be said for team unity. Don’t want to mess that up.

        • I said it before: Latos and his wife make Chris and Anna Benson look sane.

      • Seriously, what are the chances the Bucs aren’t interested because of that incident? Seems implausible, but if you think about it, maybe not.

        • I doubt that would have anything to do with the Pirates level of interest. I am not sure from the Latos family, but I think if they gave Pittsburgh a shot, they would love it. She has been described as a straight forward person who will tell you just exactly how she feels – does not sound like she would be a stranger in Pittsburgh.

  • Does he come with an option to get Touki Toussaint?

  • If the Pirates are looking at Arroyo as a minor league depth option, then they can probably forget about signing him. Someone is going to offer him a major league deal, even if it’s heavy on incentives. The Reds, for one, have nothing to lose by offering him such a deal – the back 2/5 of their rotation is one nondescript rookie after another, each of whom has plenty of minor league options, and Arroyo can certainly impart some “craft-and-guile” wisdom.

    On a side note, I had assumed that maybe the Vogelsong signing somehow fit in with the multi-inning relief strategy, in that the Pirates would strictly manage his times through the order to get the best results.

    Until I discovered that Ryan Vogelsong had the 3rd worst ERA among NL starters the first time through the order, at 4.48.

  • People get aggravated and angry with mentions of guys like arroyo but he is just depth. At worst he costs basically nothing and gives them very little, at best he gives them 40-50 decent innings and another strong veteran presence. More likely, something in between…which is just a cheap extra option.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    January 25, 2016 12:07 pm

    Please say no to Arroyo…if the Pirates seriously want to beat out the likes of the Cubs, they cannot be serious signing this guy and think he would be a satisfactory pitcher in our rotation in 2016. I’d rather see a guy like Nicasio fill that spot, even if its just until Glasnow or Taillon can come up and take it….

  • These names aren’t exciting either, but I’d much prefer to see that the Pirates are interested in guys like Latos and Fister to add as SP depth. If the season started tomorrow, the projected rotation would be very difficult to watch after Cole and Liriano.

    I’m not usually one to complain, but does anyone else feel like this team is a good bit worse than they were at the end of last season?

    In my opinion, the combination of Alvarez, Walker, Burnett, Happ, Soria, Bastardo, Blanton, LaFramboise, Broxton >>>> Rogers, Jaso, Vogelsong, Niese, Nicasio, Feliz, Schugel, Lobstein, Goebbert.

    • I can definitely see your point, but I’m not certain the proper description is “a good bit worse.”

      The team as constructed will be very strong in the bullpen, even better than last season in all likelihood. Starting Pitching won’t be as good though. How much worse is debatable. Locke is traditionally strong early in the season. Niese should be good as a lefty in PNC. Vogelsong is another story though.

      As for the hitting and defense, one could make a case the core players should be better, especially Marte and Polanco. Undoubtedly, the big question is replacing run production of Walker at 2B. Defense should be better, especially on right side of infield.

      All in all, it’s highly likely the team will regress from 98 wins. A good bit worse would be 10 or more losses more than last season. I just don’t see that big of a difference.

      • In all reality it’s likely that just about every team that wins 98 games regresses. Agree with the rest of the post btw.

    • I think it will be worse, how much worse depends on a great deal on Kang’s recovery and how the team starts. You didn’t mention the Ramirez retirement, who helped us in the second half. Quite a bit of veteran leadership is gone, and I don’t know if the hoped for improvement in Polanco and Marte will be enough. Count me as another one skeptical about major infield defensive improvements. If we get 88-90 wins out of this group I would be pleasantly surprised.

    • add glasnow , tallion. bell, and maybe diaz and hansen all maybe here by mid june.

  • ****I don’t see Arroyo as a guy who would be better than Ryan Vogelsong****

    That is a pretty bad indictment of Bronson, because RV is terrible.

  • I still want Latos but i’d take Arroyo over Volgesong any day of the week.

  • So we want to lead the league in HRs given up? Yes, I’m being facetious but he does give up a TON of them. And he is old…

  • Is JMac available too? Gorzo? Correia?