The Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals are among a list of seven teams interested in acquiring Bronson Arroyo's services according to a report from Jayson Stark dating back to mid-December.
At 39, & 17 months after Tommy John Surgery, Bronson Arroyo says he's now 'perfectly fine." Wash, Pit, Balt, SD, Atl, Cin & Phil have called
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 19, 2015
However, a development has happened. The Reds are so interested that they held a workout for the free agent pitcher according to a report from Robert Murray of Baseball Essential.
Rounding out the list of interested parties are the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies.
A couple things are still unclear with Arroyo's case. Firstly, what a 39-year old pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery can bring to the table. Secondly, what the outcome of the workout with the Reds will mean.
What Arroyo's camp insists however, is that he is "perfectly fine" in his recovery. Arroyo has been out of action since June 15 of 2014. With over 18 months of recovery time, there's no reason to be real reason to be skeptical of this claim.
However, his age is still a tad worrisome and his abilities were never elite. Between 2005 and 2013, Arroyo pitched at least 32 starts per season and only missed the 200-inning benchmark once. That is to say, Arroyo's calling card was his reliability. He was never much of a strikeout guy, though even that declined in his 2014 season. That could have been a result of ulnar collateral ligament damage suffered prior to finding the tear though. But any of that is just speculation.
If Arroyo comes back, he could make a serviceable fifth-starter on a one-year contract if he can continue to pitch at his league-average rate. While the Reds, Orioles, Padres, Braves, and Phillies could likely find a spot in their rotation for Arroyo, the Pirates and Nationals have a pretty solid five already set.
That being said, if Arroyo can be talked into a Triple-A contract and Spring Training invite, he could make a good asset to have in the event of a nearly-inevitable injury to one of the starting pitchers. Most teams opt for as much starting rotation depth as they can recruit, and Arroyo could benefit.