Arroyo a Smart Sign for D-Backs
Bronson Arroyo was one of only a handful of pitchers left on the free agent market, and he had to be wondering if anyone was going to sign him. Finally, the Diamondbacks swooped in and signed the 13-year veteran.
While some of the other free agent options, including Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, possess a more electric repertoire and can rack up strikeouts, none are more consistent than Arroyo. His remarkable durability is what has kept him around so long. The 36-year-old righthander has pitched at least 199 innings every season since 2005.
Even when he was battling Valley Fever in 2011, he ate up 199 innings, and he has never been to the Disabled List in his many years of action. Despite averaging only 87 MPH on his fastball in 2013, Arroyo still gets outs. He is a tremendous competitor on the mound, and uses his deception to be successful. He changes his arm angle to keep the batters off balance, and he threw more curveballs than any other pitcher in the league. He also throws a slider and a changeup.
At 2 years and $23.5 million, this is definitely a good signing for the D-Backs. He spent the past eight seasons pitching in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, so he will adapt well to pitching in Chase Field, which also heavily favors hitters.
Also, Arroyo can put his age and experience to good use and mentor Arizona’s young pitchers. Patrick Corbin and top prospect Archie Bradley both have the talent to flourish, but tips from a player of Arroyo’s caliber will be priceless.
There were more talented pitchers on the market, but the Diamondbacks went with the safest choice. Manager Kirk Gibson can confidently pencil in Arroyo for 30 starts and 200 innings, and there are very few managers that can say the same thing about a pitcher.
The Diamondbacks have a chance to compete for a playoff spot in 2014. They have improved as a team the past few years, and this might be their season to finally crack the postseason. They have outstanding power hitters in the lineup like Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo to go along with talented middle infielders Aaron Hill and Didi Gregorious. Add in a pitching rotation that includes Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, and Brandon McCarthy as well as a reliable closer like Addison Reed, and the D-Backs have a legitimate chance.