The Cincinnati Reds are flirting with the idea of a reunion with a former player, one whom they've often spoken with in recent years since his previous heyday with the club. It's Bronson Arroyo - because of course - and he'll be 40 years old on Opening Day in 2017, and a quick jolt to your memory will let you recall he was busy this time just last year discussing the same exact decision.
Only this time, it appears he just might actually re-sign with the Reds, as SB Nation's Chris Cotillo relayed yesterday.
Reds and Bronson Arroyo are working on a deal and a reunion is considered "likely" at this point, source tells SBN. Nothing confirmed done.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 30, 2017
Arroyo spent 8 years with the Reds after being plucked from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Wily Mo Pena back in March of 2006, and he stuffed the stat sheet repeatedly in that time. He amassed a 105-94 record in 1690.1 innings, his 4.05 ERA in that span good for a 105 ERA+. He made an All Star team, won a Gold Glove, received both MVP votes and Cy Young Award votes, and chalked up 21.5 bWAR while with Cincinnati, and even smacked 5 career double-flapped dingers at the plate.
That was ages ago, however, as Arroyo left town following the 2013 season, and a litany of arm injuries since he left town have prevented him from appearing in a big league game since the 2014 season.
If signed, it'll be on a minor league deal, one that'll include an invite to Spring Training in Goodyear to hang out with former teammates like Joey Votto, Homer Bailey, and the like. It will not be a deal that will ask him to anchor the rotation, nor one that will guarantee him oodles of money. In fact, before you jump to your keyboards to complain that the Reds will be doting unrealistic expectations on Arroyo thanks to their inability to evaluate talent, consider this list of fine fellows:
That's just a sample of the lengthy list of players who the Reds have signed to minor league deals and invited to Spring Training since Arroyo's final game with Cincinnati in 2013, an example of how these types of deals rarely include any assurances. If you dig back to Arroyo's previous 8-year tenure with the Reds, you'll find that the likes of Ryne Reynoso, Daryl Jones, Sean Gallagher, and Clay Hensley all also received similar contracts and invites, and I'd bet a buffalo nickel you don't remember them to any effect now, either.
Look, there are plenty of mounds at the team complex in Goodyear, and once pitchers and catchers report there will be ample baseballs to throw around, regardless. Signing Arroyo to see what he's got, to hear what he can say, and to have the notorious workout freak in the clubhouse is a no-risk move that is only making headlines due to his previous career experience. It's a move in the vein of last year's Dan Straily acquisition, of the previous year's Jason Marquis move, and will be done with so little financial risk that if we don't see Arroyo ever make the big league roster we'll be forgetting this ever happened almost immediately.
Still, get your cornrows ready, just in case.