Bronson Arroyo free agency: Mets, Twins showing serious interest

USA TODAY Sports

The free agent right-hander could be a good veteran presence to stabilize a shaky rotation.

Free agent starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo is receiving strong interest from both the New York Mets and Minnesota Twins, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Cotillo reports that the Mets are "heavily involved" in talks with Arroyo, who turns 37 in February. New York has several solid starting pitching options, including Dillon Gee, Jonathon Niese, and Zack Wheeler, but all of their starters are under the age of 30; therefore, it could make sense for them to go after an older, more established veteran to lead the younger pitchers. It might also make sense for them to pursue a solid, short-term option while young phenom Matt Harvey recovers from Tommy John surgery -- the 24-year-old will miss the entire 2014 season after undergoing the procedure in late October. However, Arroyo and the Mets are still just talking and are not close to a deal, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

More on Arroyo & the Mets: Visit Amazin' Avenue

Meanwhile, the Twins are still looking for starting pitching help despite signing free agent Ricky Nolasco. Minnesota ranked dead last in the majors last year with 5.26 ERA from its starting pitchers, and they will need more than just Nolasco to address that weakness. The right-handed Arroyo isn't an ace, but he is a solid, durable starter who could help stabilize a shaky rotation like that of the Twins. In 2013, he went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds, marking the ninth straight season in which he has made at least 32 starts and thrown at least 199 innings. He has recorded an ERA+ of at least 101 in seven of those nine seasons, meaning that his performance is usually league-average at worst.

The Dodgers and Giants were previously interested in Arroyo, but they have since moved on with other options -- Los Angeles signed Dan Haren to a one-year deal, and San Francisco re-signed Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum and picked up free agent Tim Hudson. The Yankees may also be interested, but they are waiting for the markets to develop for Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka before committing to anything, according to Cotillo.

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