Bronson Arroyo free agency: Twins closest to signing Arroyo

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota has been a frontrunner for the pitcher since he became a free agent.

The Minnesota Twins are interested in Bronson Arroyo, and appear to be the "furthest along" for the free agent starting pitcher, reports Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press.

This somewhat contradicts MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo report from Tuesday that at least one team has made a multi-year contract offer for Arroyo, so it's possible the Twins are not actually the furthest along: their interest in Arroyo is undeniable, however. Berardino mentions that negotiations have yet to take place between the two sides, but the Twins have gone over Arroyo's records and spoken with his agents. Arroyo did not receive a qualifying offer from the Reds, so a signing team would not have to forfeit a compensatory draft pick.

The Twins say they are going to push hard to sign two starting pitchers this offseason. Not a single Twins picher logged 200 innings in 2013, and only one of their regular starters managed to produce a better-than-average ERA, with the pitching staff as a whole finishing among the worst in the American League in that regard.

Arroyo, 36, has been one of the league's steadiest starting pitchers over recent years. He has maintained an ERA between 3.74 and 3.88 in four of the past five seasons and has pitched 200 innings in eight of the last nine years: in the ninth season, he tossed 199 innings. Arroyo may be a top priority for the team, though, the Twins say they could open the checkbook for one of the two free agents they desire, and potentially go after nearly any starting pitcher on the free agent market.

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