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diamondbacks logoAnd the Diamondbacks win the breathless Bronson Arroyo sweepstakes!

According to multiple reports – primarily from Ken Rosenthal, Jerry Crasnick, and Buster Olney, in relatively near proximity to each other – the Arizona Diamondbacks today agreed to a two-year deal with free agent righty Bronson Arroyo. He gets $9.5 million for 2014, $9.5 million for 2015, and then the Diamondbacks get an $11 million option in 2016 ($4.5 million buyout). So the total guarantee to Arroyo is a hefty $23.5 million over two years – not too shabby for a guy recently grousing that he didn’t even have a single offer.

The Diamondbacks came into the offseason clearly desiring to add a starting pitcher – it’s debatable how desperately they needed on, but that’s beside the point – and having missed on higher-tier targets, they’ll settle for Arroyo. There’s no meaningful upside there, but if he keeps on doing what he does, he’ll be a perfectly solid 4/5, even on a playoff-caliber team. Viewed through that lens, this is a perfectly acceptable deal for the D-Backs.

The signing, however, does take them out of the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes*, should one actually occur before the season begins (after the season starts, all bets are off on who might eventually have interest come July). The Diamondbacks were something of an on-again, off-again suitor for Samardzija over the past six months, but their unwillingness to part with elite pitching talent – the Cubs reportedly initially asked for both of Archie Bradley (arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball) and Tyler Skaggs (since traded to the Angels in the Mark Trumbo deal) – kept talks from reaching any kind of meaningfully advanced stage.

*(I suppose it’s not inconceivable that the Diamondbacks could package a current starting pitcher with prospects in a deal for Samardzija (thus upgrading the rotation further), but that seems unlikely. They aren’t trading Patrick Corbin, and probably wouldn’t move Wade Miley. They can’t trade Arroyo, obviously, and Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill probably aren’t hugely attractive targets for the Cubs. Maybe one of those two, but only if paired with a significant prospect haul. Like I said, I’m fairly certain the Diamondbacks are out.)

With this signing, the odds Samardzija is dealt before Opening Day decrease slightly from their already-low position. Once A.J. Burnett, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ervin Santana sign, we’ll see what happens. But at least one prominent suitor is now out until further notice.

  • CubFan Paul

    ” Once A.J. Burnett, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ervin Santana sign, we’ll see what happens”

    Well who’s left that needs a pitcher?

    Seattle
    Baltimore
    Pittsburgh
    Blue Jays
    Rangers

    • mdavis

      Seattle, B’more, Pit have some enticing top end pitching to offer….and I’d be ok if the Jays crumbled and sent Sanchez, Stroman, + . but i think shark is here until the deadline

      • YourResidentJag

        The only way I like Shark here at the deadline is if the Cubs can pry Hunter Harvey away from the Orioles. That would be a nice acquisition.

        • mdavis

          package built around Gausman, Harvey, and maybe Wright? I’d pull the trigger on that.

          • TulaneCubs

            The Orioles will never give up that much for Shark. Cubs will have to include more going back if they want both Gausman and Harvey.

            • YourResidentJag

              I’ll take Harvey, Wright, and Michael Ohlman.

              • Ivy Walls

                Gausman and/or Rodriquez of BAL, must be part or any deal regarding Samardz, that means not just them, one could include Candelario, Olt, Villanueva, Vitters (take your pick?) and Hendricks, Blackburn or Maples with an exchange of something that BAL has in abundance.

                Seattle will also want to look because if they sign Nelson their payroll is awfully high now exceeding $100M, adding one of those above would put them well over $112M or more, Samardz is at worst half of that, so again the question is whether they also might want to package

                • mdavis

                  agreed. B’more has to include one of those, and I’d push hard for Gausman. Maybe with Seattle we look at Hultzen and Paxton? just spit ballin of course.

                  and if the cubs wait until the deadline, that could be Ariz back in. Shipley would be available to be traded at that point.

                  • TulaneCubs

                    Hultzen and Paxton won’t be enough for Shark, Hultzen is too much of a wild card with his shoulder injury.

                    Shipley can actually be traded right now, but he’d have to be a PTBNL. I do agree that if he takes steps forward at the beginning of this year, he could be the center of a package for Shark around the deadline.

                • TulaneCubs

                  I don’t agree, the Orioles could easily put together a package around any one of Gausman, Bundy, Rodriguez and Harvey.

                  I think I’d rather have Harvey than Rodriguez. Rodriguez seems like he has #3 upside, whereas Harvey can be a top of the rotation guy if he puts it all together.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    The O’s probably will not do that. One of the reasons why they’ve done nothing this off-season is that they won’t part with prospects. The other reason, of course, is that their medical staff files “at this point, just make him comfortable” after examining anybody.

                    Some O’s fans are getting a little antsy and they have been very upset by this. They’ve become resigned to the idea that their FO won’t pursue impact FAs, and this year’s market didn’t really offer them much, anyway. There really have not been any major rumors (although lots of fan-propsals that get circulated quickly).

              • TulaneCubs

                With Ohlman’s questions about whether he can stay at C, I think I’d take Chance Sisco over Ohlman.

                But Harvey, Wright & Sisco sounds like a pretty decent package to me. Wright can step in right away, Harvey has the top of the rotation upside and Sisco is a guy they can develop at catcher.

                A lot of people are probably not going to be happy because the starter they’ll get back isn’t going to be major league ready, but I think the reality is that Samardzija (at least alone) won’t get you back a top of the rotation caliber guy that’s major league ready.

                • YourResidentJag

                  I still like Ohlman’s ability to hit. He really turned a corner last year.

                  • TulaneCubs

                    Yeah, but they’d just have to be really sure he can stick at catcher. With Vogelbach already on board, we don’t want to corner the market on 1B/DH types.

    • TulaneCubs

      I know they’ve been rumored to be involved with Burnett, but I don’t really see the Pirates as needing a starter.

      Here are the ERAs and FIPs (in that order) of the guys they had in their rotation last year:

      Francisco Liriano: 3.02; 2.92
      Gerritt Cole: 3.22; 2.91
      Wandy Rodriguez: 3.59; 4.42 (injuries bothered him last year)
      Jeff Locke: 3.52; 4.03
      Charlie Morton: 3.26; 3.60

      It seems likely that Taillon would be called up in the case of an injury, he already saw 6 starts last year in AAA.

      To me, they need a swing guy they can bring in early in the season if Taillon isn’t ready yet. I don’t really see the need for them to bring in a major free agent pitcher or trade for a significant rotation piece (unless that guy is a #1 and a difference maker like Price).

    • TulaneCubs

      Yankees if Pineda’s injury is still an issue. But they don’t have very many attractive prospects.

      Royals have a #1 and a bunch of #4/5 guys, they could get a pitcher and put Chen in a swing role.

    • http://BN Sacko

      Well who’s left that needs pitching?
      Cubs

  • YourResidentJag

    I think it became clear to me that, once AZ traded some of their prospects, they lost the title of prominent suitor. So, this signing means nothing to me with respect to a Shark trade….just that AZ got an innings eater who they needed on their SP staff.

    • mdavis

      right, unless they were gonna include Bradley (never gonna happen) they didn’t really have the high end pitching at the point to offer. B’more has Gausman. Jays have stroman and Sanchez, Pit has Taillon.Seattle has Hultzen and Paxon.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Walker looks to be a good prospect if the Mariners would be inclined to trade him in a deal for Samardzija. I think maybe the Rays are hoping to contend this year so I think it’s unlikely that they trade price until at least the trade deadline. I have wondered if the addition of Hammels and McDonald isn’t a precurser to moving Shark. Everybody kinows he has TOR stuff and has been dominant at times. Seattle or Toronto may up the ante and offer Theo something solid.

    • Edwin

      Walker is one of the best pitching prospects in the entire game. There’s a good chance he’s a better pitcher than Samardzija right now. Even if he isn’t, there’s a good chance he will be soon, he’s paid almost nothing and has more years of control than Shark. He’s pretty much untouchable at this point, or at least he should be. Unless Seatle loses it’s mind, he’s not going anywhere.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        I know that, but after the Cano signing I have to wonder if maybe they are crazy.

      • Boogens

        Agreed, plus since the Mariners wouldn’t even discuss Walker in a trade for Price and the Rays then there’s no chance that they’d include him in discussions with the Cubs.

        • Ivy Walls

          Seattle’s only other prospect is close to a 100th ranked prospect and 5th or so best LHP per BP, not even MLB or Law at ESPN rank him so he is marginal. Hultzen is hurt and just now is throwing off the mound and he is out till 2015. We already traded for a high prospect though injured player in Vizcaino, so I think trading a healthy 2 year arb eligible #3 level pitcher in Samardz hmmm, though both are LHP’ers.

          After Walker I just don’t see much unless you want a Paxton who at best a 4/5 LHP,

      • TulaneCubs

        As others have said, I don’t think the Mariners would consider trading Walker straight up to the Cubs for Shark, but if you’re the Cubs, what else would you give up for Walker? You have to get an ace and it’d seem like we have some excess pieces.

        I threw out Shark, Russell, Vogelbach and Soler for Walker. I know it seems like a lot, but for a guy that could be a potential TOR guy, could that be worth it? If not, who else besides Shark would you give up for Walker? Shark, Vogelbach and Russell seems like a no brainer package to throw out there for Walker, but the fact that it’s a no brainer probably means the Mariners wouldn’t do it. But rumors do have them obsessed with power…

        Just something I was thinking about yesterday…

  • Greenroom
    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Really I didn’t see ARod quiting just to be annoying, I was hoping it would go further since we might find out more info on PED and everything.

      • Brocktoon

        I’d have loved to see Selig publicly embarrassed through it. Disappointing

      • Eternal Pessimist

        “I was hoping it would go further since we might find out more info on PED and everything.”

        I was hoping it would go further until he spent every last cheat-assisted penny he earned in the MLB.

  • smackafilieyo

    Kind’ve sad…Masahiro Tanaka’s $155MM rookie contract is worth more than Hall of Famer Greg Maddux made over the duration of his career ($153.845MM).

    • Edwin

      Inflation.

      • Brocktoon

        Jason hammel will make 6 times this year what babe Ruth did in his career!

  • http://www.ehanauer.com clark addison

    I don’t think we’ll have to hold a benefit for the Maddux family any time soon.

    His grandkids will never have to work a day in their lives.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Nobody wants to over pay for the Shark

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Was reading a chat on fangraphs with Dave Cameron. He brought up a good point, why are teams that have protected first round picks, not looking at guys like Jiminez, Santana, or Drew. Seems like a market inefficiency the Cubs could take advantage of.
    Signing Santana to a 3 year deal for 36 million, you just acquired a pretty nice asset. Isn’t that the name of the game, aquire assets.
    Looking at what they were able to aquire for three months of Garza, is it not realistic to be able to move a pitcher like Santana or Jiminez for much more value than the 50th pick in the amateur draft? I know the pool money is a consideration also.

    • Ivy Walls

      Hey Redbird Dislike, you are correct, teams now see the $$ and trade value of 1st rounders, so the market is moving to where mid-level FA’s who have a price tag of a #1 are not coveted. When the cross hairs come into a Second Round, where a team like the Cubs could acquire one like Santana or Jimenez for an above average MLB salary and then turn and flip them later for more assets that is the rebuilding game.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The (very real) concern is that neither Jimenez nor Santana will pitch well enough to be flippable assets. Moreover, at this point, they still are demanding multi-year contracts.

        As for Drew, he is demanding an player-option after one year. He also is pretty insistent about staying at SS. (He’s a good fielder, but most of his suitors have been looking for 2Bmen.) People seem to think that when he drops that demand, then the Sox will take him back quickly.

  • CubbieBubba

    I’d interpret Arroyo signing as just the opposite, increasing the odds Jeff gets traded. The Dbacks weren’t going to give away their top two guys and were effectively out already – taking another decent pitcher off free agency removes one more option from a team legitimately sitting on the fence about Samardzija. (Like the Blue Jays)

  • http://BN Sacko

    Seems to be a difference on what they want for Shark and what they want to pay him.
    July is going to be sizzling hot stove with all our trade pieces.
    I hope we are .500 and have to hang on to Shark.

    • Boogens

      “Seems to be a difference on what they want for Shark and what they want to pay him.”

      True because the he’s still under club control for 2 more years. There no reason to pay him market value. However, the lower cost control for 2 more years adds to his trade value.

  • http://bleachernation 29bigcat

    We coulda beat that deal easily, plus sigming arroyo an garza would have made shark more valuable.

  • Fastball

    Don’t see a market for Shark. None of the teams who need a SP are trading top prospects when they can give up a single draft pick for one of the FA’s. Theo placed himself outside the market with his ask for Shark. If the price isn’t correct this will not get done at the deadline either. But all is not lost. No rush to make a deal. Wait until the 2015 trade deadline if necessary. I am not sold on Shark and he hasn’t sold himself just yet. 1st half of this season is his defining moment as it relates to his value. Going to be difficult to put up killer numbers on the worst team in the league. This sucks all the way around.

  • Ron Bar
  • Ron Bar

    What if? We trade Shark and he rakes? Like puts himself in the conversation for the cy young? Is it plausible that he excels his game that much this season? Questions comments.

  • David

    I would like a goal of the 2014 trade deadline to be to add 1 TOR SP. Just one. Lets overpay: Shark, Schierholtz, one of our late inning relievers, AND Lake for a Bradley/ Walker type guy?? Substitute a guy like Hendricks to sweeten the deal?

    Then we sign free 1 agent TOR SP.

    2015 Starting Pitchers
    1. TOR guy we signed
    2. Wood
    3. TOR we traded Shark for
    4. Jackson
    5. Arrieta

    • Ivy Walls

      That is way overpay plus Walker and Bradley will have at least 15 starts eachby then. Toronto or Baltimore are the last places. Though in the I would like to see Cubs sign a Jimenez or Santana and trade Samardz for prospect in the Top 5 of RHP’s and then let things percolate from there. One of those might add an extra year than Samardz so then the Cubs could enter the Price sweepstakes in 2016 as the clubs offense is becoming fully charged. By then Edwards or Johnson or Pineyro of Black, or Zys or someone else will have stepped up as well, with the 5th spot being what we will see now.

      Price, Wood, Traded TOP Prospect, developed Cubs Prospect, plus Arrieta/FA (Santana or Jimenez) /Ramirez/Hendricks/ this would be a good rotation, at least two lefties.

      • TulaneCubs

        Are you saying that’s an overpay by the Cubs? That doesn’t seem like an overpay at all. 1.5 seasons of Shark, 1/2 season of Schierholtz, a replaceable reliever and a utility player. I don’t think the Mariners would be interested in that package at all, particularly if they sign Nelson Cruz, which now appears likely.

        You’re going to have to put more value up with Shark in order to get a deal done for Walker/Bradley, in my opinion.

    • TulaneCubs

      Didn’t see this before my post above, but I don’t think the Mariners or DBacks are going to be interested in that package. That’s essentially Shark + spare parts for Walker.

      I think to get Walker, you’re going to have to overpay. I know the knee jerk to the offer I put above is probably going to be overwhelmingly negative (Shark, Soler, Vogelbach and Russell), but the Cubs might have to overpay in the trade market to get that TOR guy. Shark doesn’t have a future with the team, neither does Vogelbach and Russell is getting expensive/expendable. You’re really only giving up 1 piece in there that hurts and that’s Soler. I’d love to just have it be Vogelbach, Russell and Shark, but that deal seems not good enough to me.

  • David

    We’ll HAVE to overpay via trade and via free agency if we want to be competitive in 2015. We need pitching!!

    • Kyle

      “if we want to be competitive in 2015″

    • brainiac

      i’ve argued this before – serial underspending means that later they’ll have to overspend to build their reputation with free agents. there’s a saying: “cheap now is more expensive later”

  • Diehardthefirst

    With Dodgers signing Maholm they may have signaled that they are tapped out and can’t afford higher priced FA

    • gocatsgo2003

      …or they’re still signing pretty much everyone. The only surprising thing is that it is being reported that Maholm is getting a minor league deal.

  • cavemancubbie

    Maholm signs a minor league deal? I wonder how many FA’s pass on the Cubs because of the crappy player facilities Wrigley Field provides?

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