New York Mets fans are hoping this will finally be the offseason that their team makes a splash back into the free agency pool. While most are hoping the moves that will be made will aid the team’s offense in 2014 and beyond, the likely loss of Matt Harvey for next season means free agent pitchers could also be on General Manager Sandy Alderson’s radar. According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo could be one such target:
Bronson Arroyo is preparing for an “interesting” offseason that could include dancing with the Mets.
Photo by Michael G. Baron
With the Reds right-hander set to hit free agency and the Mets likely in the hunt for a veteran innings-eater type pitcher to bolster a young rotation, multiple industry sources have mentioned the 36-year-old Arroyo as a potential target for general manager Sandy Alderson.
One veteran talent evaluator called it a “no-brainer” the Mets would pursue Arroyo.
“He’s battle-tested, postseason-tested and he can certainly handle New York,” the evaluator said. “I think he’s exactly the Mets’ type of guy.”
The fact the Mets hold spring training in Arroyo’s home state of Florida may help the team’s chances of signing him if all other factors are close to equal. Aaron Harang, who spent five seasons as Arroyo’s teammate with the Reds, indicated the club’s decision to move camp from Florida to Arizona in 2010 didn’t excite many of the veterans.
Apparently, the interest could be mutual:
It’s just picking and choosing, what’s the best place for me, trying to win another championship,” Arroyo told The Post before the Mets’ 4-2 victory over the Reds Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park. “Where you live, logistically in the world, where your spring training is, it’s all these different factors and I definitely think the Mets are a team that I would look at.”
Arroyo would certainly bolster just about any rotation, but I have a hard time thinking that’s where the Mets will be looking to spend the dollars they’ve been so reluctant to part with these past few years. As Puma points out:
Barring a trade, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee are guaranteed rotation spots heading into next season. Matt Harvey remains the wild card as he prepares to begin a 6-8 week rehab program that will determine whether the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow needs surgery that would keep him sidelined for 2014.
Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are among the Mets prospects who could battle for rotation spots, but all would be facing an innings limit next season, as would Wheeler and perhaps Harvey, if he’s part of the mix.”
At this point I’m just looking for evidence that the Mets front office will in fact open up the checkbooks when free agency begins. They’ve talked long enough about the plan they had set for this team and 2014 always seemed like a reasonable target. Harvey’s status certainly changes the outlook, but signing someone like Arroyo as insurance would go a long way towards helping to confirm with fans that a plan is still in place and the time to focus on winning in the present rather than the future has arrived.