The Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged as the three finalists to land free agent starter Bronson Arroyo, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Nightengale also notes that Arizona is the "slight favorite" among the trio.
Nearly 37, Arroyo is expected to move on from the Cincinnati Reds after 8 years with the club. A 14-year veteran and career 4.19 ERA pitcher, Arroyo has had a slight renaissance over the past two years following a disastrous 2011 season (5.07 ERA, -1.0 WAR). He has pitched 202 innings in each of the past two seasons, averaging a 3.0 WAR and 105 ERA+. His 5.64 K/9 rate is the best he has posted since 2008 and his 1.51 BB/9 rate in 2013 was the best of his career.
Arroyo recently denied having received an offer this offseason, which may be due to a high asking price. Buster Olney reported last week that Arroyo had been asking for a three-year deal, which is far--fetched for a pitcher in this late 30's.
The Dodgers' rotation is already spectacular, but after losing out on Masahiro Tanaka, the Dodgers have been looking for an added rotation option, particularly one who doesn't require the loss of a draft pick. Given their financial resources, if Los Angeles wants Arroyo, it is hard imagining that they wouldn't land him. Olney noted earlier today that the Dodgers should be willing to offer Arroyo a two-year deal, whereas most teams probably aren't inclined to give him more than a single year. He would round out a rotation that already features Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin-Ryu, and Dan Haren, with Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley biding time for an opportunity in a crowded rotation.
Arizona hasn't really been connected to Arroyo, but considering they lost out on upper-tier options such as Tanaka and Matt Garza, it makes sense that they would go after the next best free agent starter not tied to draft pick compensation (or super particular such as Burnett). He would slot in behind Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, and Brandon McCarthy, leaving Randall Delgado as the odd man out.
The Orioles seem to be in play on every remaining free agent starter , and it's easy to see why, especially if they don't consider top prospect Kevin Gausman ready to start the season in the majors. He would join a deep, but uninspiring quartet of Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, and Miguel Gonzalez.