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Arroyo exploring options amidst speculation

Pirates rumored to be among teams courting right-hander at Winter Meetings

LAKE BUENA VISTA -- One of the early rumors from the Winter Meetings on Monday involved free-agent pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Speculation was that he could become a frequent foe of the Reds, because his agent had reportedly scheduled a meeting with the Pirates.

Arroyo told that he was unaware of any interest from the Pirates. The right-handed starter had heard from several clubs with varying interest. He noted the more interested teams had been the Twins, Phillies and Angels.

No deals are close at the moment, however.

The door isn't all the way shut for Arroyo to return to the Reds. But general manager Walt Jocketty noted that nothing was happening with his club and Arroyo.

"We just haven't talked about it in a while," Jocketty said. "I don't think we have closed it out, but it would be pretty tough financially."

Arroyo, who turns 37 in February, has been seeking a two or three-year contract after he pitched for the Reds from 2006-13. He was 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts and 202 innings pitched this year, and he has reached 200 innings in eight of his last nine years.

Cincinnati is planning on turning to lefty Tony Cingrani to replace Arroyo in the rotation. After his rookie year, Cingrani is a cheaper option that will make near the league minimum.

Reds manager Bryan Price, who was Arroyo's pitching coach the last four seasons, hates to see his durable pitcher depart.

"It's hard to have a player you'd love to have and have to consider not having him on the club, because you may not have the financial wherewithal to keep him around," Price said. "He's in that situation. He's 37 next year and probably pretty close to that last multi-year contract. I saw Jamie Moyer go through it. It's a battle, because all you do is keep performing, and your performance would suggest maybe a two or three-year commitment at fair market value. And he probably isn't going to get that in Cincinnati with where we are at this point in time, unless we're able to find some money.

"He's got to do what's best for him. I don't anticipate him wanting to come here on a one-year deal. I think he has to go out there and kick the tires on some opportunities."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
Read More: Cincinnati Reds, Bronson Arroyo