In a move to add experienced depth to their pitching staff, the Nationals have signed veteran starter Bronson Arroyo, CSN Mid-Atlantic has confirmed. Arroyo gets a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training.
The contract is incentives-laden with a $2 million base salary if he makes the team out of spring training. According to MLB.com, he can then make as much as $8 million if he makes 32 total starts in 2016.
Arroyo - who turns 39 in February - missed the 2015 season after having Tommy John surgery, a procedure he had in July of 2014. He has 15 MLB seasons under his belt, including eight in Cincinnati where he was managed by Dusty Baker.
Arroyo won a World Series in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox and was an All-Star in 2006. He also won a Gold Glove and finished 12th in NL Cy Young voting in 2010.
The Nationals already had solid starting pitching depth, but much of that group beyond their top three was young and inexperienced. Signing Arroyo is a low-risk move that could produce a relatively high reward. There is no guarantee he makes the rotation out of spring training, but he will provide competition for Tanner Roark and Joe Ross, and a more proven track record than A.J. Cole or Taylor Jordan as a No. 6 or 7 starter.
Arroyo has also played for the Pirates and most recently the Diamondbacks. He went 7-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 14 starts in 2014 with Arizona.
Arroyo did not appear in a big league game in 2015, but did spend time with both the Braves and Dodgers, in addition to the Diamondbacks. Arizona traded him to Atlanta on June 20 and he was then shipped to the Dodgers just 10 days later.
The Dodgers bought out the final year of his contract for $4.5 million following the season. Arroyo did not appear in a minor league game during 2015.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first with the news.
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It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.