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12/03/10 6:40 PM EST
Reds sign Arroyo through 2013 season
Extension to pay pitcher $35 million over next three years
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- The Reds' longest tenured player -- and one of their most popular -- opened Redsfest on Friday with significant news. Starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo signed a new three-year, $35 million contract extension that will run through the 2013 season. The club made the signing official during their fan event, which is taking place Friday and Saturday at the Duke Energy Convention Center. There was a loud roar when fans were informed of the news as Arroyo was introduced with the rest of the Reds. "I just wanted the opportunity to stay on this ballclub for the next few years," Arroyo said before he took the stage. "We've been running uphill for the last four years and finally got to the top of the mountain. We saw the finish line at least and made the playoffs. We'll hopefully have more good seasons and make a run at it." Last month, the Reds exercised Arroyo's $11.5 million option, but the whole deal was redone to create a new contract. Some of the money has been deferred. Arroyo, 33, took his physical on Friday morning before the deal was sealed. "We've been working on it for a long time," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "[Assistant GM] Bob Miller put a lot of time and effort into it. There were a few things we had to work out. We've been working on it really since the end of the season. He's really happy and so are we. You could see the response from the fans. The fans love him." Arroyo, along with former Reds pitcher Aaron Harang, had also deferred some money in the final guaranteed year of their contracts in 2010 to make room for signing other players. This past season, while earning $11 million, Arroyo established a career high in wins, going 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 33 starts as the Reds won their first NL Central title since 1995. In five seasons with Cincinnati, he is 70-60 with a 3.97 ERA over 169 starts. Over each of the last three seasons, Arroyo has reached at least 15 wins, and he has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last six seasons. One thing Arroyo did not get into his contract was no-trade protection. He can become a "10-5" player in April 2012 with 10 years of Major League service time with the last five with the same club. During a Friday meeting with president/CEO Bob Castellini, he was given enough assurance he wouldn't be leaving. It required a trust by Arroyo, who took a hometown discount to sign a multiyear deal with the Red Sox to avoid arbitration after the 2005 season. A few months later during Spring Training, he was dealt to the Reds in exchange for outfielder Wily Mo Pena. "I talked to Bob and they don't have any plans of moving me at all," Arroyo said. "I feel confident I will be around next season." Arroyo could have just played out the 2011 season and then tried to earn more money on the open market as a free agent. But his comfort in Cincinnati superseded much of his decision making. "I enjoy everything about the place," Arroyo said. "I enjoy the places I go, the restaurants I eat at and my teammates, the ballpark and the fans. I'd sign a five-year extension if they let me, but I'm getting old so they're only giving me three. I'm kind of a routine freak. Knowing the people, the writers and everybody else, I don't like change. I want to stick around. "I had one year left on my deal, so if I was a total free agent, maybe I'd look somewhere else. I have another year to pitch. This isn't easy. I have 3,000 innings on my arm in my Minor League and big league career. You take that into consideration. Nothing in life is guaranteed. The security and money is something that is enjoyable to have. I don't need to break the bank here because they don't have much of a bank to break."