Free agent starter Bronson Arroyo expressed frustration last week about the lack of legitimate offers he’s been made this winter. But it seems as though his market is now developing rather quickly.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Dodgers are “very interested” in signing the veteran right-hander and that the only hang-up is Arroyo’s desire for a three-year deal. The Diamondbacks are similarly interested; they also won’t go three years.
One of the most durable pitchers in baseball, Arroyo registered a steady 3.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 32 starts last year for the Reds. He has totaled more than 199 innings in each of the last nine seasons.
Los Angeles would appear to have a full rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett all locked in for 2014, but Haren has battled chronic back issues and Beckett is coming off surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome — the same condition that ended Chris Carpenter’s career.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.
It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.
At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”
Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.