The Arizona Diamondbacks went all in on signing Japanese star right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, and while their hand was strong, the New York Yankees’ was stronger.
The Pinstripes got their man for $155 million over seven years and that left D-backs general manager Kevin Towers looking elsewhere to bolster his team’s starting rotation for the 2014 season.
The fallback plan turned out to be veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who agreed to terms with the Diamondbacks on a two-year, $23.5 million contract Friday.
Towers was a guest of Doug and Wolf during their annual Newsmakers week on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, and says the Arroyo signing gives the D-backs power in numbers.
“Well it creates a lot of depth, and the one thing (Kirk Gibson) and I looked at as we got into the offseason was with moving (Tyler) Skaggs and (David) Holmberg, we cut into a lot of our upper-level pitching depth,” he said. “You’re going to need seven to eight starters to get through the year. I think we’ve averaged nine to ten with injuries and guys missing a couple weeks.”
Nine different pitchers started games for the D-backs in 2013.
“We did our background work on him and everything came back plus-plus-plus in the type of guy his not only in the community, but in the clubhouse,” Towers said. “He’s a guy you can count on to go out and perform each and every fifth day he goes out there.”
Arroyo, 37, has never been on the disabled list in his career and has averaged 32.6 starts and 207 innings per season over the last ten years.
Towers believes Arroyo’s quirky pitching mechanics and repertoire will be effective in keeping opposing hitters off balance.
“He’s got those long, loose limbs. He’s got the leg kick, almost like Juan Marichal, and it looks like he’s going to kick himself in the forehead,” he said. “A lot of different arm slots, he’s not going to overpower you, he’s just sneaky.
“He just changes speeds. He’s probably got three different speeds on his breaking ball, different angles, he’ll drop down sidearm.”
Arroyo is scheduled to arrive in D-backs camp at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Monday.