Coming off their first playoff appearance in 20 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t want that to be a fluke and they are already planning to bolster their rotation towards next season.
With the Bucs needing a veteran starter to possibly fill the void left by A.J. Burnett – who’s still thinking about a possible retirement – the organization is looking towards the free agent market, and they have a name on their minds to target during the Winter Meetings: former Cincinnati Reds hurler Bronson Arroyo.
Arroyo would certainly fit the mold the Pirates want in their veteran signing. He’s an experienced player that has been on winning teams, and has a lot of experience pitching in the NL Central dating back to his days with the Reds. Even though he will be 37 in February, he’s as durable as a pitcher can be.
Dating back to 2005, Arroyo has pitched at least 200 innings in all but one year, and in that occasion in 2011, when he ended the year with 199 IP. While his numbers aren’t eye-popping and he doesn’t miss many bats (3.79 ERA, 5.5 K/9), he has superb command (1.5 BB/9) and his elite 44.1 percent ground-ball rate should do wonders at PNC Park.
Arroyo is clearly not the type of move that the Pirates have made in recent years when compared with the low-risk, high-reward deal given to Francisco Liriano last year. But, it seems like Pittsburgh has turned the corner as an organization and adding a veteran would give some insurance to a team that’s looking to return to the postseason in 2014.