We noted last week that the Reds were in discussions with Bronson Arroyo about a return to Cincinnati. It’s starting to look like it’s going to happen, you guys!

From MLB Trade Rumors:

It emerged recently that the Reds had taken a look at former righty Bronson Arroyo. Though the level of the team’s interest wasn’t clear at the time, it seems now that the organization saw some promise in the veteran starter’s workout. Indeed, Cincinnati has engaged Arroyo in contract talks that appear likely to result in a deal, according to a report from Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reporting (on Twitter).

Cincinnati has made clear that it isn’t interested in handing out any more major-league deals this winter, so any arrangement with Arroyo would be of the minor-league variety. That’s unsurprising, as Arroyo is less than a month away from his fortieth birthday and over two-and-a-half years removed from his last MLB appearance.

Bronson Arroyo remains popular in Cincinnati, so I’m sure this news will be met with joy in some corners. But let’s be sure to pump the brakes a bit. There should be no expectation that Arroyo will actually contribute to the club in 2017.

But — though there’s certainly room for disagreement — what I said last week still applies, to me, at least. There’s very little downside, in my opinion.

The Reds need innings-eaters in 2017. Arroyo used to be an innings-eater. Sure, he hasn’t pitched in a couple of years, but we’re just talking about a minor league contract. If Arroyo can make it back from injury, maybe he can give the Reds some decent innings — plus be a veteran presence around all the young pitchers we expect to see in Cincinnati this season.

If nothing else, it’s an interesting storyline for me to write about, and that’s enough for me.

We’re not talking about the Scott Feldman acquisition, where — though I like Feldman a lot — there is very real reason for concern that the Reds have inexplicably promised him a starting spot, possibly at the expense of the young guns on the horizon. We’re talking a minor league deal with potential upside, and no downside. Bring it on.

Plus, as RN’s Wes Jenkins noted way back in December:

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.

Bronson makes things more interesting around these parts. Again: that’s enough for me.

24 Responses

  1. Bill

    I would be all for Bronson teaching some of the young guys in AAA, but I also have a fear that he gets thrown on the opening day roster and serves up batting practice for opposing hitters.

  2. cupofcoffee1955

    Chad, Chris Welch & JTM are happy.

  3. cupofcoffee1955

    Sorry guys, wrong video. This is it, my apologies.

  4. Simon Cowell

    Thanks Bronson for help assuring that we get another top 5 pick.

  5. redsfan06

    I guess the downside is if we see a bunch of Arroyo eating innings, then the young guns of the rebuild are not working out too well.

  6. Scott E. Disney

    I’m starting to think that Dick Wiliams isn’t so certain or optimistic about Homer pitching to start the season after reading his comments in caravan. Maybe reason Feldman signed and Arroyo signed for depth is bc Reds see Homer the same way we see Mesoraco: cautious and as a total question mark. Young pitchers get opportunity, Feldman fills in for Bailey hopefully temporarily and Feldman in bullpen once Homer returns or prospect rises?

    Of course, I must ask, has anyone heard anything else on Homer more hopeful that heis healthy?

    • WVRedlegs

      This was in the Cincinnati Enquirer a couple of days ago. The one thing that concerns me a little is the paragraph down near the bottom that starts out with Bailey saying “I don’t think there is such a thing as normal anymore, but everything is OK.” Then he says he hasn’t had time to think about how his elbow has felt. Smoke screen.


      Judge for yourself. My guess is that Bailey’s recovery just isn’t to the point where the Reds, and probably Bailey himself, had hoped for going into spring training. Maybe Homer Bailey is ready to start the season, or maybe he has to start it on the DL for a few weeks. Either way, the Reds probably want to have better options than they had last year when that rash of injuries hit the rotation in spring training.
      And it is possible that the Reds keep Arroyo on as a reliever. Stranger things have happened before. We shall see.

  7. big5ed

    So much for the optimism about the new front office.

    I’d rather have Arroyo as a cleanup hitter than as a pitcher.

    • greenmtred

      They haven’t signed him yet, have they? In this instance it’s premature to give up on the FO.

      • greenmtred

        Premature is what my comment above was, since I wrote it thinking that it was the earlier story on Bronson that I was commenting on (I know, preposition at end of sentence..). But since it is likely to be a minor league contract, I don’t withdraw the comment.

      • big5ed

        If it is a goodwill gesture, maybe: “OK, Bronson, let’s give you one last chance. No promises, and you’ll have to knock our socks off to make the team. If it doesn’t work, you retire as as a Red and we’ll all feel good.” Then let him pitch the 9th inning of spring games against minor league hitters with generic names like Bret Johnson or Danny Martin.

        I just think it is completely implausible to believe the Human Batting Tee can get major league hitters out, especially left handed hitters. This is the same kind of thinking that led Walt Jocketty to sign every washed-up Cardinal for 6 years.

  8. Preach

    If we can get another set of JTM commercials out of it, I’m all for it.

  9. Hotto4Votto

    I like Arroyo and would like to see him involved in some way with the Reds, but there’s not enough starts to go around unless there’s an injury. Obviously no one hopes for an injury, but even then, it’s hard to make a case for a 40-year old Arroyo who hasn’t pitched in over 2 1/2 years.

    On paper the Reds have Disco, Bailey, Finnegan, Feldman, Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, and Adelman competing for the Reds rotation (with a couple guaranteed spots). Then Romano, Travieso, Stephens, Davis, Mahle, Castillo, Antone, and Mella competing for AA/AAA rotations. Maybe a couple wildcards like Varner, Gutierrez, Guillon, and Crawford to throw into the mix at AA as well. (Although I think Gutierrez will start at Adv. A he could impress and be pushed to AA). That’s 20 guys for 15 spots and that’s not including Arroyo coming in, or guys like Astin and Brice who made a lot of spot starts last year.

    Most of those guys will be in MLB ST. They need the reps to get prepared for the season. Arroyo takes innings and instruction/development time away from those guys, even as early as ST. I just don’t see the need.

  10. Jeff

    Homer Baily’s career was saved by Bronson Arroyo. He said Arroyo taught him how to work out and to quit being a jerk. If Arroyo can have that same impact on other young arms, he would be well worth the risk

    • Kyle Farmer

      Seems to me that he needs to have that impact on Homer again and that might be exactly what this is all about.

    • earmbrister

      This is basically a cut and paste from my post on Doug’s site …

      The Reds might be bringing in Arroyo, not in spite of the plethora of young prospects but, due to all the youth on the pitching staff.

      I don’t think it’s as simple as hiring another coach. They have pitching coaches. Arroyo would bring a different voice to the conversation. And that voice would be heard when the coaches are elsewhere, be it the locker room, the training room, or over a meal.

      Sometimes instruction is better received when it’s informal, and asked for/not unsolicited. Anyone ever try to teach your significant other to ski or drive a manual transmission? To much going on there to be effective. Likewise, I was taking golf lessons from a quality pro and getting little from them. I got far more from playing with a good buddy of mine, who offered advice casually and without any pressure (or cost for that matter).

      If Arroyo gives one or more of the prospects a better chance of succeeding, or a quicker learning curve (thus speeding their progress, not delaying it), I’m all for it. The downside risk seems minimal compared to the upside benefit.

  11. Chuck Schick

    Best case, the Reds pay 550k for a mature,professional that can eat innings and reduce the wear and tear on the guys that matter in what will likely be a sub 500 season. Last year showed there is no such thing as too much pitching.

    Worst case, he gets shelled in ST and the Reds allow an honorable person to ” retire” with a degree of dignity and closure. I want the Trds to be succesful. I also want them to be classy and decent to those who have earned the right to go out in an honorable way.

    This isn’t picking up Jason Marquis off the scrap heap in order to actually pitch. This is a roll of the dice with limited to no financial downside.

    • Old-school

      I think it’s just classy and decent.Arroyo gets his shot to finish on his own terms and retire a Red. I’ll be there for his Reds HOF weekend.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Just heard a snippet from his appearance on the Reds Hot Stove League tonight. He seems to be going into this with his eyes wide open and realizes he may not have what it takes to make the team and if that’s the case, at least he gave it his best try. He made an interesting comment about starting and how the cool down between innings gets harder, i.e., harder to get back out there for the next inning as he has aged. He said that’s one of the unknowns for him. He thinks he can pitch effectively for an inning or two but part of the test is whether he can go out and pitch 6 or 7 innings multiple times in a row.

  12. Z-man

    Fun factor = high
    Financial impact = low
    Character = high
    Risk of minor league contract = low
    Get the deal done!!!

  13. doofus

    Part of me says, why not, he can help guide the young pitchers; the other says why not resign Elmer Dessens too.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    Apparently the minor league deal to sign Arroyo is complete (including physicals), except for the signatures.

    In another development, the Reds are apparently nearing a minor league deal with Desmond Jennings also.

    Those two tid bits should take us to pitchers and catchers reporting in less than 2 weeks.