Potential Offseason Target: Bronson Arroyo
Image Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
2013 Team: Cincinnati Reds
Key 2013 Stats: 14-12 W-L, 3.79 ERA, 124 K, 34 BB
Throughout his 14 year career, Bronson Arroyo has never been considered an elite starter. He’s made only one All-Star appearance, and the highest he’s ever placed on the Cy Young ballot is 12th.
What Arroyo has proven to be is a durable, consistent starter. He has averaged 208 innings pitched, 13 wins and 1.89 WAR per season. Those numbers haven’t varied much either. Aside from an outlier 2006 season, he has generally come in around those averages every season.
Arroyo isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, averaging only 5.8 strikeouts/9 innings. But he compensates for that by limiting walks. Over the past two seasons, he’s walked only 1.5 batters/9 innings.
Why He Might be a Good Fit
Arroyo shouldn’t be counted on to be a team’s ace, but with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels on hand, the Phillies don’t need one. After the injury problems the team’s starters endured last season, it would be nice to have another consistent mainstay in the rotation.
Why he Might Not Be a Good Fit
Arroyo is the type of pitcher who is generally as good as the team around him. He’s going to keep his team in most games, but he’s not the type to carry a team to victory. Arroyo will need to be backed by strong defense and run support, and it remains to be seen if the Phillies can provide either.
I think the Phillies interest in Arroyo should depend on how they feel about Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. If they think that “MAG” is capable of being a solid #3 starter, then Arroyo would be a great fit as the #4. On the other hand, if Arroyo is counted on to be the third best starter, then the rotation won’t necessarily be a weakness, but it won’t be a team-carrying strength either.
Tim Hudson‘s recent deal (Two years/$23 million) probably set the market for Arroyo. If the Phillies are indeed high on Gonzalez, then I’d take a good look at Arroyo for those numbers.