With only a week remaining before most MLB teams have pitchers and catchers report for spring training, most teams normally are not in the mode of adding to their teams via free agency. The Arizona Diamondbacks proved to be a notable exception to this rule on Friday afternoon, as they signed starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo to a two-year deal with an option for a third year, according to USA Today.
While the signing of Arroyo is by no means a blockbuster deal, it does shore up a Diamondbacks rotation that has four dependable arms in Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy, and also has top prospect Archie Bradley waiting in the wings. Clearly, Arroyo will slot in at the 3, 4 or 5 spot in the rotation, and he should be the cog that ensures Arizona is a genuine contender for the playoffs.
Over the last nine years there may not be a pitcher in MLB that is more dependable than Arroyo, as he has averaged 210 2/3 innings pitched per season and has thrown 200 innings or more eight different times. Additionally, during this time Arroyo has compiled a record of 119-104, which while not spectacular by any means is an indicator of the fact that he is an innings eater and keeps teams in the game while doing this.
In no sane world is anybody going to be overpowered by Arroyo, but he certainly will outwit hitters with his mix of off speed pitches and location on the mound. This should especially translate well to Chase Field, which is a pitchers’ park and will not torment the starting pitcher for having a 39.6 percent career fly ball rate. If anything, Arroyo should see a drop from his 3.79 ERA of 2013–when he pitched for the Cincinnati Reds at a hitters’ park that is Great American Ball Park--and a rise in the 2.5 WAR he compiled.
Adding this level of consistency to a core group of four pitchers that could all throw 200 innings or more will ensure that the Diamondbacks have one of the best, and most reliable starting pitching staffs in all of baseball. When this is combined with a bullpen that should once again be dominant and a lineup that boasts table setters in Aaron Hill and Martin Prado and run producers in Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt, there is no doubt Arizona will add to the 81 wins they compiled last year, and very well could win the NL West.