Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bronson Arroyo says money only reason he would leave Reds in free agency

Look around the landscape of Major League Baseball and you would be extremely hard pressed to find any starting pitcher more reliable and durable than Reds right-handed veteran Bronson Arroyo.

The 36-year-old has been a model of consistency since joining the Reds prior to the 2006 season. In fact, no other National League pitcher has won more games or made more starts than Arroyo has since the beginning of the 2006 campaign.

Part of the reason for Arroyo's success lies in his ability to stay healthy. In 14 big league seasons, Arroyo has never missed a start and has never spent any time on the disabled list, a modern marvel in today's day in age where pitchers land on the DL multiple times in their careers.

Arroyo is on pace to start at least 32 games for the 10th consecutive season, reach 200 innings for the eighth time in nine years (he pitched 199 in 2011), and win 15 games for the fourth time in six years.

"That's where most of my ego lies, to be honest with you," Arroyo, who is 13-9 with a 3.42 ERA this season, told USA TODAY Sports. "I try to stay a humble guy, but we all got somewhat of an ego. If we didn't, we wouldn't be able to compete. Mine lies mostly in my durability and my consistency."

Given Arroyo's track record, coupled with his popularity in the clubhouse and among fans, there is no doubt the Reds would like to keep him in the Queen City beyond 2013. However, he is set to hit the free agent market this offseason and many people believe the club won't have the financial means to keep the rubber-armed hurler around.

One possible destination for Arroyo if he doesn't re-sign with the Reds is on the West Coast. However, Arroyo expressed his desire to stay in Cincinnati, but also admitted that if he doesn't it will have everything to do with the almighty dollar.

"I love San Francisco," Arroyo says. "I love the whole vibe of the city. I love walking down the street and see a guy in a tuxedo, two guys holding hands and some girl with tattoos riding a skateboard. I love the eclecticness of the city. But to be honest, it's going to be sad if I have to leave here. There will only be one reason why, and that's the dollar bill."

No one can fault Arroyo for being honest.

The Florida native is in the final season of a 2-year deal which paid him a base salary of $12 million in 2012 and $11.5 million in 2013. He has earned over $67 million in his lifetime playing professional baseball and will undoubtedly add to that total with the inevitable contract he signs this winter.

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