According to pretty much every report that has come out since the end of the regular season, free agent starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo is likely to receive a three year deal for roughly $36 million dollars.
That type of deal isn’t outlandish in terms of years or dollars for a pitcher like Arroyo, who has thrown 199 innings or more every season since 2005, and who has a career ERA of 4.19. However, he shouldn’t be a target for the Mets. The club is without Matt Harvey for most, if not all of 2014, but they have lots of other starters they can rely on.
With Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee penciled into the rotation for 2014, Jenrry Mejia emerging late last season, and Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom on the cusp (and Harvey returning in late 2014 or for the start of 2015), the Mets shouldn’t be looking to make a long term commitment to a starting pitcher.
Even if the Mets deal one of their minor league pitchers and one of their current major league rotation members (which would be risky and is probably unlikely), they’d still have five pitchers ready to be part of their major league staff no later than July of 2014. When you add to that the fact that the Mets will likely sign an Aaron Harang type as insurance, handing out a three year deal to someone like Arroyo makes even less sense.
As the Mets are currently constructed, they should be looking to make a short term commitment (one or two guaranteed years) to a pitcher who is likely to provide above average production.
Such pitchers include Scott Kazmir, Tim Hudson, and Josh Johnson. Hudson is reportedly being pursued by 15 teams, and apparently wants to remain with Atlanta if that’s an option. Johnson is a risk, but offers the highest reward. Kazmir, as I wrote earlier today, may be the Mets’ best option – a relatively young power pitcher who appeared to resurrect himself last season with Cleveland.
This is to take nothing away from Arroyo – he’s a consistent performer and consummate professional. However, with Matt Harvey out for the majority of 2014, the Mets looking to contend, and the club not pitching starved, they should be going after someone who offers more upside than Arroyo.
With the general managers meetings getting underway tomorrow, we should start to hear some concrete rumors soon.
Tags: New York Mets