Late Tuesday night, St. Paul Pioneer Press Twins beat writer Mike Berardino reported that talks between the club and free agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo were ‘heating up.’
Arroyo’s trademarks are durability and control, both of which would clear endear him to the Twins’ way of thinking. But don’t take that entirely the wrong way; there’s a decently good chance that Arroyo would be a pretty solid upgrade on the likes of Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey.
The Arroyo File
Opening Day Age: 37.
2013 Team: Cincinnati Reds
2013 Stats: 14-12, 3.79-4.49-3.97 (ERA/FIP/xFIP), 5.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 1.15 WHIP.
2013 Salary: $16.4 million
Repertoire: PITCHf/x suggests Arroyo leans heavily on an 87.4-mph sinker (40.8%), with a slider (25.4%), change (17.6%) and curve (12.4%) all figuring prominently in his 2013 pitch mix. By Arroyo’s reckoning, PITCHf/x will sometimes have issues with classifications on some of his pitches, however.
Links: Here, legendary Fangraphs Q&A guy David Laurila talks shop with the righty. This is where Arroyo attempts to reconcile some of the differences he has with PITCHf/x classifications. And here, the Fangraphs community projects contracts for the top free agents, including Arroyo.
Analysis: Arroyo is a crafty lefty who just happens to throw right handed. He has a multitude of arm angles, and comes at hitters with a leg kick that at times is nearly 45 degrees from his torso (for a crude diagram |/ ). From those angles come fastballs that either cut, or sink, and can start the game at 80 miles per hour — sometimes showing up as a changeup via PITCHf/x — but never more than 90. He’ll also bring breaking balls on different planes, and he seems to have an outstanding feel for what he brings to the table.
In a lot of ways, this will look to fans as the Twins bringing in another retread, but make no mistake: Even at his age, Arroyo can help this team. Furthermore, Arroyo has an outstanding rapport with Ryan Hanigan, his battery-mate in Cincy who is arbitration-eligible for the final time this offseason. He could be on the Twins’ radar if the Arroyo deal is finalized. Offensively, Hanigan is the catcher version of Jamey Carroll. Defensively, he’s considered one of the best, and he and Arroyo had Arroyo’s entire repertoire down to a one or two sign from behind the plate. That’s remarkable.
Finally, here’s a look at Arroyo’s heat maps. Overall, Arroyo seems to work away to left-handed hitters, and middle-in to away on righties. That makes sense with his lack of ideal velocity. This dynamic rings true with his curveball, sinker, and his slider — three of his bread and butter pitches.
As with pretty much all free agent signings, the money will go a long way in dictating what kind of move this would be for the Twins. At two years, and something less than $10 million per, it’s a move that can be at least construed as defensible. North of $10 million, and it becomes much harder to look upon favorably, pending this winter’s pitching market and how it shakes out.