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  • Twins Looking for Another Pavano in Arroyo?

    Monday's Rumor Mill Round-Up included an update on Bronson Arroyo, who was set to meet with multiple teams -- including the Twins -- at this week's Winter Meetings.

    I judged the probability of a match being rather low, largely because I guessed the local club would cease to be aggressive bidders for a free agent of Arroyo's caliber after committing nearly $75 million Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, but Ken Rosenthal tweeted later in the day that the Twins were indeed making a push and that talks were "gaining momentum."

    I'm still far from convinced that a deal will go down, but there's no denying the appearance of legitimate interest here. So what do the Twins see in Arroyo that would keep them involved even after adding two significant free agents to the mix?

    For precedence, I look to another veteran pitcher who was mentioned in Monday's round-up: Carl Pavano.

    It's no secret the Twins loved having Pavano around. After acquiring him from the Indians during the 2009 season, they kept him aboard in 2010 with a $7 million arbitration agreement and then re-signed him to a two-year, $16 million contract in the ensuing offseason. At the time, that was a massive free agent deal by their standards, and it pushed the 2011 payroll to a record $112 million.

    Pavano had earned the commitment with an outstanding 2010 campaign in which he went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA over 221 innings, delivering seven complete games and two shutouts while helping lead a staff that dominated the AL Central. Clearly the Twins valued that effective durability very highly, and they probably value it even more in hindsight given what's transpired over the past couple years.

    Let's compare Pavano's 2010 to Arroyo's average output with the Reds over the past two seasons:

    Pavano, 2010: 221 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.8 K/9, 1.5 BB/9

    Arroyo, 2012/13 (avg): 202 IP, 3.76 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 5.6 K/9, 1.5 BB/9

    Those are very, very similar numbers. Much like Pavano, Arroyo is a veteran strike-thrower who has been reliable for 200-plus innings and has posted above-average core numbers. When the Twins re-signed Pavano in 2011, he was a 35-year-old with a fastball in the high 80s; Arroyo is presently a 36-year-old with a fastball in the high 80s.

    In a clear attempt to overhaul their shoddy rotation, the Twins have already added two established hurlers with a chance to make a real impact, but it appears they're still seeking a very veteran anchor for a group in which, even with Nolasco added, youth still rules the day.

    Arroyo is a risk for the many of the same reasons Pavano was a risk -- he's aging, his velocity is declining and he doesn't miss too many bats. But Arroyo also has a much more consistent history of durability and success.

    In many ways, he can be viewed as a rich man's Pavano, which might explain why the Twins are once again ready to step beyond their normal limits to pursue him.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Looking for Another Pavano in Arroyo? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 38 Comments
    1. Zephrin's Avatar
      Zephrin -
      The (relatively) long-term commitments we've made to Nolasco (4) and Hughes (3) make me question the need to give a contract to any other rotation stabilizer that goes more than one year.

      Frankly, Correa fills that role this year. At present, we have 2 spots available for 3 worthy candidates (Meyer, Gibson, Deduno), plus plenty of rotation filler (Diamond, Worley, Albers) if we run into trouble. Arroyo just adds to the glut of options we already have.

      Unless we are willing to go after someone with significant upside (Tanaka!), we should either stick to a 1 year contract or stand pat.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      I would take from the kicking on Arroyo'ss tires that the Twins are not very confident in what they have available too them. Arroyo is probably holding out for a third year. I do not think anyone wants to give him it.
    1. zchrz's Avatar
      zchrz -
      I will be happy if they sign him, 3 years is not ideal but may be what it takes. Right now the rotation still has 2 of Deduno/ Worley/ Gibson/ Diamond in it and while there is some promise to pull a solid back of the rotation guy out of that group I don't think it would be wise to hand 2 spots over them and hope they succeed. Gibson can be stashed, one can get the 5th spot, and if we really have to hold onto one more they can be the long reliever. I don't see it as that negative a thing they lose some warm bodies at the top of the 5th starter pipeline. Gibson, Meyer, or whoever makes a real claim for a spot can displace whoever wins the 5th spot or Corriea.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Prediction: Arroyo will re-sign with Cincinnati. According to LEN3, the Reds are back at the bargaining table with their longtime starting right-hander. This is classic negotiation. Test the market, show the home team that you have willing suitors chirping on the wire, and then return to the nest.
      MLB Rumors has Mike Berardino tweeting (sorry, I don't tweet...) that the Twins want Arroyo for the top of their rotation, above Nolasco, and Hughes.

      So, basically the Twins came back and said something like 'Come to our nest, and we will give you the catbird seat.'

      Money will feather the nest.

      Ryan keeps hinting that the Twins have more money to spend, and that they aren't done in free agency. But I wonder... Many on this site are more than stunned by not one but TWO free agent signings. Three seems like such a huge stretch of "Twins Way" credulity that many can't imagine such extravagant spending.

      Could it be true?

      Nah, Arroyo is playing with the Reds. I'm willing to bet that he flies back home, to that nest we have come to know as the Great American Ballpark.
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      What convinces people that Bronson Arroyo will be at 37 years old in the American League? Steamer and Oliver project him to have a WAR of less then 1. I'll freely admit that there is something that I must be missing. Perhaps the Twins have scouted Arroyo to be better then the numbers look like in the case of Correia, I'm just not confident.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I really hope they pass on him. At this point, unless Beane really is trading Brett Anderson for a song, I'd be looking at trading some relievers or perhaps invesing in some SS help.
    1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
      SpitefulRabbit617 -
      If we're going to sign old people to play areas of need, lets sign Mike Lamb again to play 3rd. Heck, maybe Adam Everett can play SS sometime too......................................
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I would pass on him too. Also, I can't wait to write a blog about Deduno when I have some time this offseason. Not that anyone will read it or change their minds, but at least I'll feel better when people try to insinuate that he is a lock for a rotation spot.
    1. halfchest's Avatar
      halfchest -
      I really hope this rumor dies soon and he signs with someone else. We now have three midrotation arms in Nolasco, Hughes, and Corriea. All decent but none with considerable upside. If we sign anyone else it needs to be a top of the rotation type or no one at all. Would rather give some of our guys another shot.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Deduno is slated for the 4th spot and he will probably start the season on the DL which opens a spot for Worely and Diamond to get a tryout. Yes the Twins have said Deduno will be ready to go by spring training but by the looks of things they want more insurance. Plus the signing would give the Twins the ability to trade Corriea in spring training or during the season should the opportunity arise.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Not in on Arroyo, but not totally opposed either Do not think the Twins will land any of Garza, Tanaka, or Meada(who according to mlbtraderumors could also be posted this winter). Would rather leave room for rebound projects or buylow candidates and improve either the infield or the outfield for 1-2 years.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      Does having Arroyo on this team in 2014 and 2015 make the Twins better? Deduno and Gibson (and even Hughes) are NOT sure things. Arroyo has proven to be about as reliable as it gets. IMO, he would be the 2nd best pitcher on our staff (unless Hughes becomes much better). We are agruing about age and him "blocking" guys that have little to no track record and all of our AAAA filler. Arroyo is better than Correia. He is better than Dedno, Gibson, Diamond and Worley. I would like this deal to be only for two years, ideally. Gibson and Deduno can duke it out for the last spot in ST. Gibson still has options. Send him down if he can't be one of the 5 best to start the season. The Twins need to think about making this team better in both the short-term and the long-term. Signing Arroyo doesn't block anyone, because Correia is gone after this year. If Gibson, Deduno and Meyer look like All-Stars then we have a wonderful problem. Too many good pitchers.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I'd rather have more upside than what Arroyo brings, but I can understand the case for signing him. I'd rather they find a good bat somehow, than a mediocre starting pitcher.
    1. TD Mac's Avatar
      TD Mac -
      Hmmm, add a pitcher with a history of durability and quality results (who arguably would have been our staff ace the last few years)? Me thinks, yes.

      Payroll dollars are still available and this would provide another upgrade to the WORST staff in baseball. Not only would I sign Arroyo, I'd also sign Pelfrey if I could (assuming I couldn't get Garza/Tanaka). Now we'd only have one spot to fill from our "embarrassment of riches" of Gibson/Worley/Diamond.

      In a perfect world, those pitchers battle for the fifth spot, provide depth if/when injuries occur, and/or provide trade chips for other areas of need. Ultimately, if (fingers crossed), Meyer, May, Berrios, Stewart, etc., prove they're ready for a spot in the next year or two, then we look to move the veterans for more assets.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Joel Sherman says it's looking like Arroyo will be getting a 3 year $36 million deal from whomever signs him. I think that 3rd year should make all Twins fans uneasy.


      Also Jason Stark says Garza may be close to signing and the Diamondbacks and Twins are the teams being mentioned, though the Diamondbacks appear to be the front runner.

    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      I'd rather have Arroyo than Pelfrey, all things considered. I'm pretty ambivalent to bringing him on at this point, though. I'd be perfectly willing to run with what we have so there's more opportunity for Gibson/May/Meyer to get the experience they need, but Arroyo also looks like a strong candidate to give you a solid league-average season with a lot of innings, and that would really be refreshing after the last few years.
    1. Trautmann13's Avatar
      Trautmann13 -
      All I have to say is that I would love to see the Twins sign one more starter. It looks like it will either be a two year deal for Pelfrey or a three year deal with Arroyo. I would much rather have Arroyo than Pelfrey. Arroyo is old, yes we get it, but he has always been an inning eater which is what this team still needs.

      Pelfrey was never good before TJ surgery and I don't think he will magically be good 2 years after. Arroyo is a good, but ageing, inning eater and Pelfrey is a below average, inconistant pitcher who throws less than 5 innings a start. Pass on Pelfrey, sign Arroyo
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      If Arroyo is worth $36 Million Dollars, this assumes 6 WAR over the next three years, and I don't like that bet.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Quote Originally Posted by josecordoba View Post
      If Arroyo is worth $36 Million Dollars, this assumes 6 WAR over the next three years, and I don't like that bet.
      But don't forget that you are using 2013 WAR dollars, which will not be accurate for a 2016 contract... especially the way teams are spending this year!
    1. TwinsAce's Avatar
      TwinsAce -
      Arroyo put up similar numbers to Pavano in the AL East back when he was with the Red Sox. And his home park over the last 8 years is a bandshell. Arroyo isn't guaranteed to succeed, but more so than Pelfrey, Albers, Diamond, Correia, Hughes, and even Deduno and Gibson.
      I would rather the Twins go after Garza, but if not, Arroyo is still worth it in the current pitching market.

      You can never have enough pitching. Ideally, by the end of this year, there are pitchers in the minors pushing for spots, leading to a deadline trade or two.

      Imagine that Nolasco and Arroyo put up close to sub-4.00 ERAs and 180+ innings. Hughes improves for the most part, while Correia starts off strong again before fadiing. Mays dominates AAA, along with Gibson, forcing the Twins hand to either demote their #5 pitcher or trade one of the other pitchers. Is that really a bad thing? And if they fail, you still have pitchers at AAA.
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