The Cincinnati Reds and Bronson Arroyo have to have an understanding of what his best case scenario is.
With the signing of Bronson Arroyo to a minor league deal, the Cincinnati Reds need to make sure that there is an understanding in place as to what each side expects from the other. The Reds will have expectations about Arroyo’s flexibility and he will have expectations regarding his roster status. Having these expectations align is very important. The sides seemed like a good fit last year before coming together this off-season.
There are several options as to what could be best for Arroyo this season. He may want to only spend time in Cincinnati or he may only want to start. The Reds may want him to be completely flexible regarding his usage.
Arroyo likely wants to be in Cincinnati unless he is building up arm strength to become a full-time starter. He has already said that he is fine starting or relieving. He mentioned six innings as being his possible limit at this point in his career.
The Reds likely have a plan in place for him, whether or not they have told him exactly what it is at this point. They would probably love for him to be the number five starter so they could keep Amir Garrett or Robert Stephenson in Triple-A. They also probably wouldn’t mind him working as the long man in the bullpen.
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There is something else that may work great for both the Cincinnati Reds and Bronson Arroyo.
This is most assuredly Arroyo’s last season. There needs to be some realization of what would be the perfect scenario for him. Unless the Reds make a run to the playoffs, it probably isn’t spending the entire season in Cincinnati’s starting rotation.
Early in the season, Arroyo probably wants to show baseball that he can still be a starting pitching. That can only be done in Cincinnati. Being the Reds’ number five starter would move him in this direction.
He would really love to be doing well enough to make the All-Star team. That probably isn’t a reasonable expectation, but maybe he could help Anthony DeSclafani and/or Brandon Finnegan make the team. That would be good sign that his mind is in the right place.
In the end trading Arroyo back to Boston to play for the Red Sox in a playoff run might make the perfect storybook ending. Being able to send Arroyo to Boston after the August 1 deadline would allow the Reds to use him most of the season, but Arroyo to ride off into the sunset making a playoff run. Something like that should be in the expectations for both sides.
Based on his past statements this is what Arroyo wants. Regardless of what they agreed to, they needed to make sure both sides were on the same page. That will ensure that the reunion will work for all involved.