Bronson Arroyo is probably your mother’s favorite baseball player. He has those long luscious locks that swish just so when he follows through. His leg kick defies convention just enough while still vaguely resembling the iconic Rockettes. And of course, he plays the guitar when he’s not taking the field. Bronson Arroyo is a bad boy without being a bad boy–the guy brought home for Thanksgiving that Dad thinks isn’t good enough to be with his daughter but Mom defends because she just needs some adventure in her life.

Bronson Arroyo is also my mom’s favorite baseball player so there’s that.

Back in September, the Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan wrote that Arroyo may be making one more comeback attempt following a litany of health concerns that have sidelined him since June of 2014. While Bronson’s recovered health is all fine and dandy, it’s not exactly relevant to the Reds current prospects, EXCEPT:

He thinks two former clubs – the Reds and the Diamondbacks – might make sense. Both have underperforming young pitchers who could benefit from Arroyo’s expertise, even if he doesn’t make it out of camp.

BRONSON ARROYO MIGHT RETURN TO THE REDS. Yet, the article was written in September, far too early to forecast any free agent signings, and consisted mostly of empty speculation. Oh Zach Buchanan, you tease me.

But then, just a week ago today, buried at the bottom of a Billy Hamilton-might-be-traded (-to-the-Rangers) column by Mark Sheldon, was this wonderful quote:

Not ruled out is a reunion with former Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who has not pitched since 2014 because of elbow and shoulder injuries…

“We’ve talked to him,” Williams said. “I don’t know to handicap the odds. He would have to get healthy. I know Bryan [Price, the Reds manager] has a good relationship with him so we’d have to consider him.”

May I repeat, BRONSON ARROYO MIGHT RETURN TO THE REDS. If that isn’t a Christmas miracle, I don’t know what else could possibly qualify.

Looking at the Reds projected rotation–Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and some combination of Dan Straily, Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson, or Amir Garrett–there’s not a lot of room left to maneuver. General Manager Dick Williams’ comment that the Reds would be looking for a fifth starter this offseason didn’t really make sense at the time and still doesn’t considering the Reds have seven starters (plus one Tim Adleman) already.

But, if you imagine that Straily goes to the pen and Stephenson and Garrett start in AAA, then suddenly there’s an Arroyo-sized hole just waiting to be filled. What team doesn’t need a cagey vet projected to earn 0.0 WAR tossing some accelerated BP every fifth day? Yes, contending teams don’t need that, but the Reds aren’t contending in 2017 so it’s a moot point.

What I’m trying to say is: If the Reds are so hellbent on spending unnecessary money on a veteran, fifth-day starter thereby further stunting the growth of their much-delayed young pitchers, then all I ask of Dick Williams is to make that choice somewhat amusing. Bronson Arroyo is the palate-cleanser to this 1-star Yelp reviewed rebuild.

But, if Bronson’s patchwork arm isn’t your definition of amusing, here are a few other pitchers who might not make sense in the rebuilding process, but would certainly make it much more enjoyable than it has been.

Tim Lincecum – 9.16 2016 ERA, 6.75 2017 FUN

Big Time Timmy Jim has 100 percent lost the ability to throw a baseball at a major league level, but because he has always been the Coke Zero to Bronson’s Classic Coke, he needs to be on this list. On the bright side, there’s no way he can pitch worse than a 9.16 ERA right?

Mat Latos – 4.89 2016 ERA, -100 2017 FUN

Really, Mat Latos is only being considered because watching him pout for three weeks before he would inevitably be cut at the end of April would be the most satisfying vengeance. Also, Homer Bailey would throw a punch at some point. I’m pretty certain about that one.

Bartolo Colon – 3.43 2016 ERA, 11.00 2017 FUN

Disregard that Bartolo Colon has already signed a contract with the Braves, we can still sign him. I don’t know how it can happen, but just think: Bryan Price would be forced to bat Bartolo somewhere other than ninth because he couldn’t have the lumbering pitcher in front of Billy Hamilton. Which, if you haven’t figured it out yet, means the maximum number of Bartolo Colon plate appearances. Someone find a lawyer; we need to find a loophole in Bartolo’s contract. Batting eighth is his destiny.


Bronson come back, any kind of GM could see
Your sidearm Eephus always struck true
Bronson come back, you can blame it all on Jocketty
He was wrong, and we just can’t rebuild without you

Join the conversation! 21 Comments

  1. Bronso is one of my all time favorite Reds players.Some good pitchers have the talent and some good pitchers have the smarts….truly great pitchers (Bumgarner) have both.Arroyo was never a great pitcher but he was a smart pitcher…and that’s something you can teach younger pitchers.Hated seeing him leave Reds if for no other reason that I eventually wanted to see Bronson become a coach in Red’s Org…maybe this is Arroyos and Reds second chance to make that happen.I say throw him a bone…

  2. Bronson Arroyo on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training wouldn’t harm anything. But giving up a 40-man roster spot out of the gate instead of earning it in spring training won’t get it. If he’s throwing 85 mph heaters up there, he won’t make it out of spring training. See what he has left, just don’t hang on too long for sentimental reasons if he isn’t pitching very well.

    • AAA is already stuffed with starters. Actually, Travieso (a top 20 prospect and former #1 pick) may not even have a place to start there. I would rather develop these guys that actually have a chance to help us next few years.

      • I think WVREDLEGS is suggesting bringing him to camp on a minor league deal so the Reds aren’t giving up a 40 man roster spot. Then he either makes the MLB team or is cut.

  3. Nice Player reference and lyric. 🙂

    I’d love to see Bronson spinning his web of deception and teaching the young pitchers how to deceive.

  4. Robert Stephenson’s stuff imparted with and employing Bronson Arroyo’s guile would be a sight to see. Oh but were it so easy to accomplish…..

  5. “…Then all I ask of Dick Williams is to make that choice somewhat amusing. Bronson Arroyo is the palate-cleanser to this 1-star Yelp reviewed rebuild.”

    Wow. So well written, Wesley.

    To add to the amusement….let’s say Arroyo comes back to the Reds on a 1-year league minimum contract. He is still being paid by the team for past services rendered, and would receive a bigger check for that on July 1 than he would get for the entire 2017 season.

  6. Nice Player reference, Player.

    If Bronson DOES come back, I hope he’s got a receding hairline to go along with the hippie hair. And, hey, why not bring Latos back as well? We could have Bailey, Bronson, and Latos room together in an apartment downtown and put the results on youtube. That idea is full of #win.

  7. If this happens, can he PLEASE sign another endorsement deal with JTM?

  8. Why can’t we offer to overpay B A (a million) to be a special pitching advisor in the spring, then have him be pitching advisor to all levels of the system for whoever seeks advice. Hell, he achieved more with less stuff then any of these pitchers.

  9. My Mom’s 87. She’s still pining for Trader Jack McKeon.

  10. The Mat Latos item is funny, I thoroughly enjoy the thought of HB taking care of business.

    • Except, after throwing a wicked right hook, he would tear his rotator cuff and be out till late September.

  11. Bronson in game 2 of the NLDS was one of the best big game pitching performances by a Red that I can remember watching.

    If he’s healthy, they should sign him.

  12. Colon would get walked 100% of the time if he was in the 9 hole, just to keep Hamilton from stealing when he got on base. It would be a sight to see.

  13. Bronson is a spent shell casing on the mound. I would be open to the idea of him coming back and working with our minor leaguers as some form of instructional coach. Aside from that he has no pitching value.

  14. I’m a ,mom and yes, he’s my favorite. I read the opening paragraphs to my 23 year-old son, and he laughed because you pretty much nailed it. I love Bronson Arroyo for all those reasons you mentioned! 🙂

  15. I enjoyed watching Bronson pitch and the storybook comeback out of Arizona would also be exciting, but it leaves me wondering. Why does Bronson have such an affinity for the Reds? Is it because of his success here, or is it something else? Is there another story buried inside this one?

  16. Arroyo is too one of my all time fav. Reds pitchers. It’s my wife’s favorite pitcher too, but for different reasons than me lol…

    I say give him a shot.

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