After spending the last eight seasons with the Reds, Bronson Arroyo will almost certainly be pitching elsewhere next season. And while the Hot Stove is just getting warmed up, Dan Martin of the New York Post brings the following tidbit about a potential landing spot for the free agent right-hander:
The Mets’ hopes for the backbone of their team next season to be starting pitching suffered a crushing blow when Matt Harvey was lost following Tommy John surgery.
If they are going to have any chance of staying relevant in 2014, the Mets will almost certainly have to lure someone like Bronson Arroyo to help the rotation.
While the Mets have not contacted Arroyo yet, that should change.
“Bronson is an East Coast guy and would definitely consider the Mets,” Arroyo’s agent, Terry Bross, said. “But we’re going to take our time with this.”
It would be silly to rule out any team, so this ultimately doesn’t mean much. Still, the Mets expect to be active in free agency with a lot of money coming off the books, and could use a veteran arm with Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee as the only locks for the starting rotation.
Arroyo, 36, posted a 3.79 ERA and 124/34 K/BB ratio over 32 starts this season and has logged at least 199 innings in each of the last nine seasons. He’s looking for at least a two-year deal and should have no problem finding it.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.