At 36 years old - 37 by the time Opening Day arrives - Arroyo is a depth-providing option in a thin free agent market, which explains why multiple teams are reportedly scrambling for his help. Tim Hudson, at 38, got two years and $24 million from the Giants, so Arroyo can certainly look forward to getting paid, and he wants a three-year deal, reportedly. He's got an ERA steadily under 4.00 and can churn out 200 innings per season like clockwork. Every year since 2005 he's logged at least 199, and once went as high as 240.
So how does he jive with so many offseason plans?
Phillies: The Phillies are probably nabbing flyers on any starting pitcher who could come to CBP for a reasonable price in the wake of Roy Halladay's likely exit. Add to that two or three rotation spots potentially going to guys who have not proved they deserve one for another entire year. The market is thin with pitching, and everyone is getting overpaid because of it. Next year does not look to get much better, and if the Phillies don't want to fork over "top" money for Matt Garza or Hiroki Kuroda, then Arroyo, as apparently is the case, is their man. This isn't a signing that puts a team over the edge, especially the Phillies, who could do with one less multi-year, aging starter on the roster. The intensity of their connection with Arroyo remains to be seen, but regardless, it indicates that they don't have full confidence in the Kendrick/Pettibone/Martin trio winning the day.
Orioles: Fostering young hurler after young hurler in their farm system, the Orioles have seen the fruits of their labor become busts, trade chips, and occasionally part of their starting rotation. The signing of Bud Norris during the stretch was supposed to give them some veteran leadership/reliability to lean on with Jason Hammel shaken by injury, and Arroyo fits that mold. Arroyo's groundball pitching would appeal to the O's in Camden as well.
Twins: The Twins cast a wide net over the starting pitching market - remember their Opening Day starter in 2013? It was Vance Worley. He wound up getting demoted to triple A. So far, they've caught Phil Hughes, in hopes that he'll climb out of his hole - maybe not entirely in 2014, but in the years following - and Ricky Nolasco, somebody the Phillies might have considered. The signing of these two does quell the immediacy of an Arroyo signing in Minnesota, but the Twins want their 400 innings.
Giants: The Giants aren't afraid of upping the average age of their rotation, with Tim Hudson already secured for two years. Their assistant GM said that they planned, if successful, to put their two finely aged signings behind the Lincecum-Cain-Bumgarner combination in the front. Keeping fly balls out of the air would be nice in AT&T Park, and the Giants aren't afraid of age when filling holes.
Angels: Starting pitching is the Angels' most dire need, which their trade of Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals for David Freese did not address. They've been linked to both Arroyo and Bartolo Colon, and since Colon can probably be had for less than three years, they might be leaning harder in his direction. They are close on neither, last we heard, which may indicate a more casual interest in both. But their interest in Arroyo lies in the simple truth that they need starting pitching and he can provide it.
Mets: Once said to be "heavily" involved, the Mets are now said to be "not super high" on Arroyo. With the loss of Matt Harvey in 2014, the Mets apparently have pulled out of their depressed tailspin, and don't seem too likely to fill the hole left by their rookie phenom with Arroyo, who is pretty much the opposite.