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Monday, March 20, 2006

Reds acquire Arroyo

From Marc:

SARASOTA -- The Reds have acquired Bronson Arroyo and cash from the Red Sox in exchange for Wily Mo Pena.

I'll have more shortly.

...Arroyo is 29, broke in with the Pirates, and has now been a regular starter in Boston for the past two years. Relevant stats:

Year IP ERA FIP BABIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
2004 178.7 4.03 4.06 0.286 7.15 2.37 0.86
2005 205.3 4.51 4.48 0.278 4.38 2.37 0.96

Last year showed a big drop-off in his strikeout rates -- the second lowest rate of his career (major or minor leagues), the worst being his '01 season with the pirates (3.96). Typically, he has been up in the 6-7 k/9 range, so we can only hope he will return to that level this year. His walk rates have consistently been below league average, and his HR/9 rates are right about league average. Coming from Boston, I think we can expect roughly similar numbers this year. Perhaps fewer hits and a few more home runs allowed.

There had been rumors, at least over at RedsZone, that Matt Clement might also have been available. Needless to say, I'd much prefer to have had Clement, but this trade does help us. Arroyo fits in ahead of Claussen as the #2 starter on the team...more a condemnation of our rotation than an accolade of Arroyo, as I think of him as a prototypical #4 starter. Still, he's better than what we had, and is young enough to help us for a few years (not sure about his contract status).

I'd put the Reds' rotation now as Harang, Arroyo, Claussen, Williams, Milton. Paul Wilson will have to get lucky to get in the rotation when he returns from injury (either someone will have to explode or get hurt), but I think he could be a valuable guy in the bullpen.

For fun, here is baseball-reference's list of similar players through age 28:
  1. Mike Harkey (978)
  2. Kevin Foster (975)
  3. Chris Codiroli (974)
  4. Rodrigo Lopez (974)
  5. Sean Bergman (972)
  6. Art Ditmar (970)
  7. Ted Lilly (969)
  8. Brett Tomko (968)
  9. Chad Ogea (967)
  10. Scott Sanders (967)
Not exactly a star-studded cast, though there are a few guys in there who have had a good career (Ted Lilly perhaps foremost on that list).

I'll miss Wily Mo (wily mo wily mo), and I do hope he'll go on to become a super star. But he's basically an all-power, no-OBP guy; as many have said, he could be the next Sammy Sosa, or he could be the next Russell Branyon. And while he is inexpensive at this point in his career, he clearly had some trade value and hurts us less than we would have been hurt losing either Kearns or Dunn. Through age 23, here are the most similar hitters to Pena. Kind of a scary list:
  1. Jesse Barfield (976)
  2. Rocky Colavito (955)
  3. Pete Incaviglia (949)
  4. Bobby Bonds (947)
  5. Dave Kingman (946)
  6. Willie Montanez (946)
  7. Billy Conigliaro (944)
  8. Willie Horton (943)
  9. Harmon Killebrew (941) *
  10. Roger Maris (939)
-j
Update: Apparently this move puts Dunn back in left field this year. He's a thoroughly average defender (despite his negative reputation), so it should work out well for us. Hatteberg is slated as our 1B. I have to admit that I'd probably rather see Dunn at 1B a bit more often, with Denorfia and Freel getting starts in the outfield. Freel's said to be a very good outfielder with good range, so I'd definitely like to see him out there a bit more often. Hatteberg seems to me to be another Aurilia...maybe more OBA (though not the last few years), less SLG.