Yankees rumors: New York checked in on Bronson Arroyo

Andy Lyons

The Yankees have talked to Bronson Arroyo. If they can't sign Masahiro Tanaka, should Arroyo be considered for a starting job?

After all of the anticipation regarding whether Masahiro Tanaka would be posted, it was a relief to finally get the news that he would be last week. The Yankees are just one of several teams who are interested in signing him, though. Without him, the starting rotation consists of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova. It's likely that Michael Pineda, David Phelps, and others will compete for the fifth spot, but the Yankees need to have some back up plans in place in case Tanaka signs elsewhere.

Bronson Arroyo is one of the free agents that the team has reportedly been in contact with. According to that article, the Angels, Diamondbacks and Orioles are the other teams who could be interested in Arroyo. The soon-to-be 37-year-old has pitched with the Reds since 2006. Throughout that time, he's made at least 32 starts every season, which points towards his durability. In 2013, he had an ERA of 3.79, while his FIP was 4.49. Arroyo's WHIP in 2013 was 1.15 and his BABIP was .267.

In terms of velocity, his fastball was averaging at 87 last season, which is one of the slowest fastballs out there. Only three out of 81 starters (who pitched at least 160 innings) threw a fastball slower than Arroyo's last season (If you're thinking that R.A. Dickey must be one of them, you would be correct).

Arroyo was worth 0.8 WAR last season, and has only had one season worth negative WAR during his entire career, which was in 2011 (-1.5) when he led the majors in most home runs allowed (46--his career high). In comparison, Arroyo gave up 32 HRs in 2013, which was the second highest in his career and four more than CC. One positive is that his BB/9 rate has declined over the past few seasons, going from 3.06 in 2008 all the way down to a career low of 1.51 in 2013.

The ESPN article linked above has some interesting tidbits about Arroyo, including the fact that he, "typically wakes up each morning and throws some celery, carrots, ginger and kale into a blender and begins each day with a nutritional jump-start." Sounds like he could be fast friends with Teixeira.

Do you think Arroyo is worth taking a look at if Tanaka doesn't sign with the Yankees? Are you afraid he would be too home run-prone? Or would the Yankees be better off looking amongst the other free agents such as Ubaldo Jimenez or Matt Garza?

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