Bronson Arroyo

Dan Duquette has said time and time again that he wants to add a starting pitcher to the Baltimore Orioles rotation. Many thought (myself included) that starter may have been veteran Bronson Arroyo.

No dice.

On Friday, Arroyo inked a two-year, $23.5 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals. The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly reports that the Orioles final offer to Arroyo was “exceptionally competitive” with the D’Backs’, but that they made it a bit too late. Connolly adds that the Orioles believe Arroyo chose to pitch in the National League, but claims another factor may have been involved in his decision not to choose Baltimore.

But, according to one source, another serious factor was that the Orioles had failed two players’ physicals this offseason — outfielder Tyler Colvin‘s one-year deal and the high-profile decision to walk away from Balfour and his two-year, $15 million agreement due to concerns about his right shoulder.

Arroyo will be 37 this month. He has never been on the disabled list. He keeps himself in tremendous shape. But he also has thrown more than 2,300 innings, counting playoffs, in his major league career. Certainly, there is wear and tear on his arm — no way there couldn’t be.

Connolly adds that there was some concern that because it was so late in the offseason, if Arroyo failed a physical in Baltimore he would be “perceived as potentially damaged goods.” You can certainly understand that line of thinking.

Grant Balfour’s failed physical will be a story watched closely all year. The Rays didn’t appear worried about his shoulder when signing him to a two-year, $12 million contract, though there’s still Buster Olney’s report that the Orioles were concerned more about his wrist and knee.