When asked about other starters on the day of the Ubaldo Jimenez press conference, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette dodged the question. Yet the Orioles were linked to just about every name under the sun over the offseason before they settled on Jimenez and there was smoke to the interest in at least some of those players.
The Orioles interest in Bronson Arroyo was reported through January. They weren't said to be "all in" on him as they were with A.J. Burnett, but it was clear they were trying to get him. Not long after he signed, there were reports, with no dollar signs attached, that the Orioles offered slightly less guaranteed money with more available in an option for a third year.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has pinned down the exact difference between those two offers:
Arroyo gets $23.5M for 2 yrs and $30M if #dbacks pick up option. #Orioles offered 2 yrs at $21.5M and $33M with 3rd yr option.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 25, 2014
At the age of 37, Arroyo has probably signed the last contract of any significance of his career. The O's wanted him to spend those years in Baltimore, but Arroyo spurned that offer for that of the Diamondbacks.
Perhaps the idea of making an extra $3 million didn't matter to him, or perhaps money mattered very much and he wanted the extra $2 million guaranteed because he has no confidence that he'd get the third year if he got shelled in the American League East for a couple of seasons. Viewed through that lens, it's not surprising he made the choice he did. His chances of getting the full $30 million from Arizona are probably much greater than they would have been in getting $33 million from Baltimore.
Whatever his reasons might have been, Arroyo ultimately did not want to pitch in Baltimore. The Orioles ended up with Jimenez instead, hopefully for the better. Jimenez spoke in his press conference about liking the challenge and wanting to compete in the AL East, which he said is the toughest division in baseball.
Arroyo fled to the desert of the NL West instead of tackling that challenge. That's his choice to make, but I can't say I'll be sad he's not on the Orioles. In the end, Jimenez wants to be here, and so here he is. If he pitches up to his contract, that will be even better.