It comes as little surprise, but the Chicago Cubs appear to be out of the mix for free agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo. A report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter) says that the three finalists for his services include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Nightengale also says that it appears that the Diamondbacks are the ‘slight front-runners’ for the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, which would fall in line with the numerous reports this winter that Arizona is seeking to add pitching depth, especially after missing out on Masahiro Tanaka last month.
Arroyo is a career 138-127 pitcher who has become the model for consistency. He has failed to reach the 200-inning mark just once in the last eight years. In that particular season, he notched 199 innings pitched, while going 9-12 with the Reds.
He is familiar with the National League, having spent 11 of his 14 big league seasons with the Reds and Pirates, and a deal with Arizona could extend that comfort for another few seasons. Arroyo, who turns 37 later this month, is coming off a 14-12 campaign last season with Cincinnati, where he tallied 202 innings pitched and a respectable 3.79 ERA.
It was always a long shot that a starting pitcher as old as Arroyo would sign with a team like Chicago, that has little chance of competing in the next two years. That being said, many in the industry, including myself, believed that he could prove to be a valuable mentor to the young pitchers the Cubs will rely on in coming years.