With the calendar turning to February over the weekend, we’re only days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to their respective locations in Florida and Arizona. Yet, multiple veteran arms remain without a contract. Folks like Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez represent the higher upside arms of the bunch, while A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo fall into the steady veteran category.
Of the four, Bronson Arroyo is the one who has had his name out there the most this winter. There has been reported interest from all around the league, with teams like the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers having been in the mix at one point, as well as perhaps the Arizona Diamondbacks and his former club the Cincinnati Reds. Nothing has gotten close to date for Arroyo, but there is at least one team that was unexpected inquiring as to what it might take to reign him in.
It was reported on Monday evening that the Chicago Cubs were “kicking tires” on the veteran starter. This is often a term that indicates that a team may have simply called to inquire what a player was looking for and the discussion ended there. Nonetheless, the fact that the Cubs do have at least some interest in Arroyo is intriguing for a couple of different reasons.
The first is the fact that they’re still looking for arms. They’ve traded away a great deal of depth in the last couple of seasons, and when they recently signed Jason Hammel, the assumption was that they’d roll with him as their fifth starter. Signing Bronson Arroyo would complicate that situation. Of course, one could assume that they’ve asked about Arroyo in the event that Jeff Samardzija ends up traded before the season begins.
At the same time, though, it’d be a surprise to see Arroyo sign with the Cubs. He’s a veteran on the tail end of his career and almost certainly isn’t going to sign with a team stuck in the mud like Chicago. Also, he’s looking for three years. That’s part of the reason he’s still without a job and not even the Cubs are interested in handing him a term that long. This is an interesting team in the mix for Bronson Arroyo, though, to be sure.