At some point this offseason, the New York Mets know they’re going to need to sign a starting pitcher to help fill the hole in their rotation created by injuries to Matt Harvey, Jeremy Hefner and Jenrry Mejia. With a starting pitcher being one of their top needs, it’s unusual that the Mets are not one of the six teams that’s been rumored to have contacted free agent Bronson Arroyo.
Arroyo would seem to be a perfect fit for the Mets. He’s a veteran pitcher that’s as consistent and reliable as they come. He’s made no less than 32 starts per season since 2004, which means that he’s rarely injured and is always ready to take the ball every fifth day, a problem the Mets had with veteran Shaun Marcum last season, and a problem they need to avoid in 2014. The Mets need an innings eater toward the back of their rotation, and Arroyo is a virtual lock to pitch 200 innings.
Arroyo said earlier this offseason that he would consider signing with the Mets and that he favors the east coast, yet the Mets have reportedly not even made contact with Arroyo this offseason, while half a dozen other teams have. The Mets are reportedly exploring the trade market before free agency this offseason, but Arroyo is such a perfect fit for them, how is it possible that they aren’t going after him?
Arroyo does have his downsides, like giving up 32 home runs last year. However, moving from a small ballpark in Cincinnati to a more spacious Citi Field could help bring that number down considerably. Arroyo is also 36 years old and apparently seeking at least a two-year contract, which is probably what’s scaring the Mets away. However, he hasn’t had any health issues for the past decade and doesn’t have a throwing motion that would indicate he’s more at risk for injury than any other pitcher.
There would obviously be some risk and some long-term commitment given if the Mets were to sign Arroyo this offseason. However, considering what a good fit he is for the Mets, that risk would be minimal and well worth it compared to the reward that’s possible by signing him. The Mets are making a huge mistake by not even contacting Arroyo and entertaining the possibility of signing him, and soon it could be too late to rectify that mistake.