The market for veteran right hander Bronson Arroyo is picking up steam.
Arroyo told me decision on signing could be soon. Nats offered minor lg deal. #reds could present offer soon. He threw on Fri. Story coming
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) January 25, 2016
In addition to the interest from the Reds and Nationals, the Marlins, Pirates, and Padres have all expressed at least some level of interest. It appears the Nationals and Reds are the most interested, based on the minor league deal offered by the Nats and the private workout Arroyo had for the Reds, but at this point anything can happen.
Arroyo is coming off a completely lost season, one in which he was traded twice, first from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Atalanta Braves in what was more or less a salary dump/prospect buy, and then from the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a larger trade deadline deal. Arroyo is coming off of Tommy John surgery and is likely to begin throwing in early December.
While it remains unclear which teams are potentially interested in his services, the San Diego Padres could materialize as a possible fit. Given the fact that Arroyo pitched with the division rival Diamondbacks in the recent past, the Padres know the pitcher rather well. Arroyo last pitched in 2014 with those Diamondbacks, finishing the season with a 7-4 record with an ERA slightly over 4.00.
Obviously there are no shortage of concerns with a potential signing of a player like Arroyo. Arroyo is currently 39 years old and is coming off of a major surgery last season. It is still unclear what Arroyo can bring to the table going forward, and the risk is great. Despite that, the risk that comes with Arroyo might be a risk the Padres could be willing to take. Even after the failed experiments of Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow, the Padres still need to employ the same strategy of looking for diamonds in the rough.
For a still small market team like the San Diego Padres, finding cheap options that could be successful should be the front office’s M.O. going forward. Even though Morrow was eventually re-injured and missed most of the season, he was one of the best pitchers in the Padres staff at a bargain price.
Despite his age, the Padres could be able to strike at similar success with Arroyo on a one-year contract. The money likely won’t be too high, and the contract can be laden with incentives to protect the Padres from some risk, and possibly reward Arroyo if he does deliver.
The Padres rotation took a huge step back in 2015, and Arroyo can be a part of the solution in 2016. At this point, the Padres need further rotation depth, and an innings eater like Arroyo is a great commodity to have. Arroyo could also benefit from playing in pitcher friendly Petco Park, a place where he has had some success throughout his career. Arroyo comes with a lot of risk, but the Padres are going to have to take some risks if they hope to compete in 2016 without too much of a payroll increase. Arroyo fits the bill perfectly.