Via- Mark Sheldon
CINCINNATI — A reunion of the Reds and free agent starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo remains a possibility, and a decision could be coming soon. But there are other teams in the mix that also have expressed interest.
Arroyo told MLB.com on Monday that he threw a bullpen session in Cincinnati on Friday with Reds catching coach Mike Stefanski. No one from the Reds’ front office was present, but the session was put on video for the club to watch.
“I told them I’m healthy, but they want to see it with their own eyes,” Arroyo said. “I hope the Reds make a bid at me today.”
A source told MLB.com that the Reds would have interest in bringing Arroyo back if the price was right for the club. He missed the entire 2015 season while rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
The right price is also on the mind of Arroyo, who expects to sign an incentive-laden contract anywhere he goes. He has a Minor League offer already from the Nationals, which would bring him and former Reds manager Dusty Baker back together.
“I wanted to give the Reds every opportunity to keep me,” Arroyo said. “[Manager] 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.”
Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek examined Arroyo’s arm last week. He underwent X-rays and had his elbow checked.
Arroyo’s girlfriend lives in Cincinnati, and he frequently visits the city. When he’s in town, he’s been allowed to work out and throw at Great American Ball Park. He was headed to the ballpark Monday afternoon for a lifting session.
“There is more of a need here [in Cincinnati] for my mind in this locker room than just basic pitching,” Arroyo said. “Other places might take my mind and what I have to offer but would need my physical ability more.”
Reasons Bronson Arroyo needs to be a Red in 2016:
- He’ll eat up a bare minimum of 200 innings even coming fresh off of Tommy John surgery.
- He’s a shoe in for a solid 10-18 losses in 2016, most of which will come by 2 or fewer runs due to an astounding lack of run support. (Not an insult. With the way this team is shaping up, the man with 15 losses may very well be our staff ace.)
- Speaking of aces, Bronson would more than likely step in and become our stopper when Homer Bailey inevitably misses an extended period of time with some sort of injury to be determined at a later date.
- Fire beats
All jokes aside (not really jokes, though. 95% serious), bringing Bronson back for a second stint in a Reds uniform almost makes too much sense. The Reds could use another veteran pitcher who can provide some quality starts, doesn’t require a hefty salary, and provide some experienced leadership to the slew of younger guys on the staff. Bronson Arroyo fresh off of arm surgery literally checks every single box. Not to mention he’s a fan favorite and in a season where anything north of 75 wins would be considered a tremendous success, the Reds could use a likeable guy worth rooting for to put all the butts in the seats that they possibly can.
PS- I’m not worried one bit about Bronson’s ability to bounce back after that Tommy John surgery, either. I know that’s a crazy thing to say about a guy pushing 40, but in 2016 TJ surgery is as routine as putting a Band-Aid on a cut and Bronson is widely recognized for his ability to take care of his body. In fact, if Bronson somehow ends up wearing Red and doesn’t hit his patented 200 inning mark I’ll eat my Reds hat on camera right here on this site. Mark it down.