Soon-to-be-free agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo maintains he will seek at least a two-year contract this offseason, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. It seems unlikely the Reds will be the team that gives it to him, however.
“I've heard not a word [from the club],” said Arroyo to Sheldon last week. “The sense I have, I don't think they'll make me a [qualifying] offer. They would have to offer me $13 million-14 million for me to stay anyway.”
Cincinnati would have to make Arroyo the one-year qualifying offer to receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. The offer is worth the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball and is expected to be right around $14 million, or a $2.4 million pay cut from his 2013 salary.
“I haven't had one conversation with them,” added Arroyo. “They could be taking care of other things or other issues. The sense I get is by not having any conversation with me, is they're going in a different direction ... It's a question of whether they want a $28 million rotation or a $42 million rotation."
The Reds already have four quality starters either under contract or under team control through arbitration in Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake. Rookie southpaw Tony Cingrani impressed this summer and could easily step into Arroyo's rotation spot for the league minimum.
Arroyo, 36, went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA (101 ERA+) and 1.15 WHIP in 202 innings across 32 starts this year. His value lies in his durability and reliability -- Arroyo has made at least 32 starts and thrown at least 199 innings every year since 2005. Plenty of teams could use a horse like that.
According to PitchFX, Arroyo had the third slowest average fastball (87.0 mph) among qualified starters this year, better than only Mark Buehrle (84.1 mph) and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (81.6 mph). Given his soft-tossing ways, staying in the NL would be a wise move. The Giants, Padres, Mets, Phillies, Nationals and Brewers could all be fits, among others.