But ever since that wonderful week, the Jack Zduriencik trade factory has been eerily silent. News that the team has reached it’s spending limit or that they need to seek permission from ownership before spending more have taken over the headlines.
Zduriencik even said recently at FanFest:
“We need to do a few more things. I’d like to add a couple more things to help us.”
Okay, he’s saying the right things. But whether or not that is just to help his public perception when the team ends up losing 85 games is yet to be seen. However, he added:
“But we’re not going to do anything foolish. If the right scenario is there and it makes economic sense and talent sense, then that’s something you engage in.
But there’s an awful lot more that goes into it than just saying you maybe have more money to spend. That’s good if you spend it wisely, but just to spend it to spend it would be foolish, and I think all of us understand that. If the right opportunity is there, then I’d have to present my case and get permission to do it.”
We all know this team wants to add a legit No. 3 starter behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma – ranked recently as the No. 3 and No. 7 best starting pitchers, respectively, in baseball right now by MLB Network.
Some believe that the signing of Scott Baker solves that, for now. I disagree. Baker could – I emphasize COULD – have a solid year and be a tremendous pickup. But he could struggle, get hurt and/or be a complete and total bust.
So why not get a proven starter? Someone a little older, but durable, dependable and still a name that should excite the fan base.
Why not Bronson Arroyo?
According to a recent interview, Arroyo was discouraged by the lack of interest in him this offseason. It might have something to do with his four-year $50 million asking price.
He’s 37-years old. He’s not getting a four-year deal. But no one has actually offered him anything for him to even consider saying no to.
So why not come at him with a two-year, $20M offer with a third-year mutual option?
Since 2004, Arroyo has posted a WAR of 2.5 or better in seven of the ten years. The others being 2.2, 1.5 and -1.0 (his only truly down year in the past decade, 2011).
His ERA has been below 4.00 in four of the past five years, but more importantly, he averages 32 starts and 208 IP per year.
Whatever team lands him should rest assured that every 5th day, Arroyo will be ready to take the ball. With an uncertain back end of the rotation including but not limited to, James Paxton, Baker, Brandon Maurer and Erasmo Ramirez – I am assuming Taijuan Walker is a given in the rotation – the Mariners need that certainty in the middle of the rotation.
Because Arroyo has primarily pitched in the National League, it’s hard to determine how well he’d perform at Safeco, but in the three starts he’s had there he is 1-1 with an ERA of 1.71, 3 BB and 22 K. Yeah…..I think he’d be fine.
Arroyo is thought to prefer an east-coast team with Spring Training close to his home in Florida. But Arroyo has connections with new Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon from their time together in Pittsburgh.
So offer him a two-year deal. You’d be the first team to offer him anything. The worst thing he could do is say no.