Bronson Arroyo’s price comes down

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It’s been a tough offseason for Bronson Arroyo. Pitchers and catchers report in a week and he still doesn’t have a job. This despite the fact that he was not given a qualifying offer by the Reds and thus does not have draft-pick compensation tied around his neck. People just don’t want to give long-term contracts to pitchers in their late 30s, no matter how durable they’ve been over the years.

So he’s going to meet the market. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Arroyo is no longer demanding a three-year deal. Rather, you can have him for two years and $22 million.

That seems like a more than fair price for a guy who will more than likely give you 400 innings of league average pitching over that timespan. Expect him to have a team in short order.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?