Originally Posted by Sabo Fan
Simply put, it's not the worst move in the world, but Arroyo had a real nice deal for the next two years from a team standpoint, one that made him very marketable should the desire arise to move him. Now, should he not perform up to expectations in 2007 he all of a sudden becomes extremely hard to move. Personally, I would have cashed him in this winter when teams were spending wildly on pitching mediocrity.
If you don't have a ton of great pitching depth in the minors (which the Reds don't), don't have a surplus of position player talent in the majors to trade (which the Reds don't), and don't have a great free agent market to spend your money in (which the Reds didn't), then you've got to play the odds on moves like this. It's a risk that Arroyo won't live up to his 2006 performance and there's a chance that the Reds bid against themselves and bought high, but its a risk worth taking when weighed against the odds of getting equivalent or better return on prospects who are completely unproven at the ML level.
Plus, there's a very real PR aspect to these two moves (locking in Harang, locking in Arroyo) -- its a signal to the fans that the team is serious about competing in the near future and a signal to players that Cincinnati takes care of it's own. It sends a message, to both free agents and players in the Reds system, that Cincinnati is playing to win and will spend the money to reward players who contribute to building a winning club. No more stories about trades for guys like Scott Rolen being nixed because the finances didn't work. These are the kinds of moves that change attitudes about franchises; they're the kinds of moves that I expect out of St. Louis, as opposed to the previous regimes that played straight of the Pittsburgh Pirates playbook.
Don't underestimate that aspect of this move either.