The Washington Nationals have added depth to their pitching staff by inking 15-year veteran Bronson Arroyo to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has the full details on Arroyo’s potential earnings this upcoming season.
Confirmed Arroyo to #nationals. A $2mil base in incentive laden deal if he makes team. Can earn up to $8 million if he makes 32 starts
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) January 27, 2016
Arroyo, 38, will attempt to complete his comeback from Tommy John surgery after missing most of 2014 and all of 2015. The blonde right-hander joined the Arizona Diamondbacks on a two-year deal after the 2013 season, marking the end of an eight-year stint with the Cincinnati Reds.
After making 14 starts (7-4, 4.08 ERA, 86 innings) for Arizona in 2014, Arroyo tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow, setting in motion a roller coaster year-and-a-half. As he tried to rehab from the procedure, Arroyo was traded on two occasions last season.
First, he was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Atlanta Braves in a trade that sent the 16th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Touki Touissant, to Arizona. The deal was made to give Arizona some financial flexibility, as Arroyo was making $9.5 million in 2015.
“It is more of what we are trying to do. The money is definitely important,” Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart told ESPN. “We said that we are going to try to do what we can to promote our young pitchers but also give ourselves a chance to make some savings so that we can have an opportunity to do things at a later date.”
A month later, Arroyo sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a 13-player, three-team trade just before the deadline, as the Inquisitr reported. The Dodgers declined a club option on Arroyo following 2015, electing to pay him a $4.5 million buyout to become a free agent.
A report from MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon indicated that Arroyo was drawing interest from several teams, including the Reds — a team he spent eight years of his career with. The Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and San Diego Padres all had an interest in Arroyo, but after throwing a bullpen in Cincinnati this past Monday, a reunion with the Reds sounded like his preferred outcome.
“I wanted to give the Reds every opportunity to keep me,” Arroyo told MLB.com. “Bryan Price has told me he’d love to have me in their locker room. I think it benefits both sides. It’s an opportunity for me to come into a less-stressed situation after a surgery and help young guys on the staff. If we can get something that’s in the ballpark [financially], I’d be happy.”
From 2006-2013, Arroyo averaged 13 wins, 211 innings, and a 4.05 ERA with the Reds. He eclipsed the 200 inning mark in every season, except 2011, while in Cincinnati. Never a hard thrower, Arroyo still maintained solid peripheral stats as he posted a 5.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 40. percent ground-ball rate, per MLB Trade Rumors.
The Nationals already have Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Joe Ross, and Tanner Roark as options for the rotation. If Arroyo can impress the Nationals enough during Spring Training, the team may decide to put Roark in the bullpen while slotting Arroyo into the rotation.
Reunited with his former manager Dusty Baker — who Arroyo played under for six seasons from 20o8-2013 — the Nationals will hope that Arroyo’s high leg kick can return to its innings eating form of the last decade.
Arroyo is 145-131 with a 4.19 ERA with 1,526 strikeouts and 642 walks in 2,364-and-two-third innings with the Reds, Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Boston Red Sox.
[Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images]