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According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Cincinnati Reds are "concerned" about their depth in the starting rotation. One player who is still squarely on the Reds' radar, and who could easily remedy those concerns, is Bronson Arroyo.
The 36-year-old righty spent the last eight years with the Reds and provided quality innings in all but one of those seasons. Between 2006 and 2013, Arroyo managed a 105-94 record with a 4.05 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and ratios of 5.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 9.1 H/9 and 1.3 HR/9.
Signing Arroyo could help the Reds in a number of ways.
First, if the Reds bring in Arroyo, the team could mull over the idea of sending Tony Cingrani back to Triple-A and allowing him to work on his secondary pitches. Cingrani wowed in his rookie season with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP while averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
The problem with Cingrani is the lack of secondary pitches in his arsenal.
Cingrani fiddles with a changeup and a slider, but neither of those two pitches has the level of refinement associated with a legitimate front-end starter. Baseball is a game of adjustments, and if Cingrani attempts to get by on a fastball alone again this season—he threw it 81.5 percent of the time in 2013— he'll experience some severe regression.
Arroyo could step in as the team's fifth starter, and with a healthy Johnny Cueto, the Reds would still have one of the better rotations in baseball.
Signing Arroyo to a multi-year deal would also give the Reds the ability to either trade Homer Bailey this season or allow him to work through the season and become a free agent without scrambling for a replacement following his departure.
The Reds are interested in working out a multi-year deal with Bailey, but he's shown little interest in returning to the Queen City following the 2014 season.
By dealing Bailey now, they can still get outstanding value in return, given his incredible maturation and progression over the past few seasons. By allowing him to play out the season, they run the risk of losing him to teams willing to pay far more than the Reds will for his services.
This sort of plays in with the idea of developing Cingrani's secondary pitches in Triple-A as well. Should he prove able to develop his changeup and slider, Cingrani could step in next season as a capable replacement for Bailey.
Don't forget, top prospect Robert Stephenson is likely to make the jump to the big leagues next season as well.