Three teams have emerged as finalists for Ironman Bronson Arroyo's services: the @Dbacks. @Dodgers and @Orioles, w Dbacks slight favorites.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 5, 2014
If this is indeed the case (and the usual caveats about this kind of report should be taken as read), things seemed to have picked up a little bit in terms of Arizona interest over the past couple of days. On Monday, AZ Central's Zach Buchanan spoke to Derrick Hall and was told:
He said they've discussed Arroyo internally the last couple days, but are just gauging interest at this point. "It doesn't hurt to ask."— Zach Buchanan (@azc_zachb) February 3, 2014
Buchanan also said that the team's interest was predicated on any deal being "for not more than two years," which would be in line with Kevin Towers' previously-expressed aversion to contracts longer than that. But we're not the only one whose interest in Arroyo is temporally limited. Nick Cafardo reports, "The Dodgers are very interested but don’t want a third year" either. Their interest is because Chad Billingsley will be out of action for much of the first half, and Josh Beckett's status remains uncertain - they are likely keen on getting depth, after they virtually ran out of starters early on in 2013, and had the likes of Matt Magill in their rotation.
One question would be Arroyo's home-run rate, which over the past three seasons has sat at 1.55 per nine innings pitched, the third-highest among the 139 qualified pitchers in the majors in that time. However, it's safe to say that a good chunk of that is from playing in the petite play-pen which is the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. According to Fangraphs Park Factors, Coors Field has been about the only worse park for pitchers, when it comes to allowing home-runs, with GABP coming second, second and third in those three seasons. As a yardstick, Chase Field ranked outside the top ten each year [it's an insane amount of triples which makes us so hitter-friendly overall].
However, I can't say I am still particularly convinced he'd be significantly better than Randall Delgado. Sure, additional pitching depth would be nice (see the Dodgers above), but this feels kinda like spending half the money we couldn't give to Masahiro Tanaka on Bronson Arroyo, and the Scot in me thinks that it should instead be put away and saved for a future rainy day.