Bronson Arroyo, in an apparent show of allegiance to the Red Sox, is extremely close to overriding the advice of his agent, Gregg Clifton, and agreeing to a three-year contract that will pay him between $11.5 million and $12.5 million, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations. The upside for the 28-year-old righthander is financial security and the chance to remain with the Sox for at least the next three seasons, two tremendous opportunities for a pitcher who just three years ago was placed on waivers. But, that upside -- being signed at a fixed cost for a duration of some length -- also would appear to make Arroyo more vulnerable to being dealt to a team such as Tampa Bay, which is seeking affordable starting pitching and has a player the Sox covet in shortstop/leadoff hitter Julio Lugo. At last check, the Devil Rays were requesting top prospect Andy Marte for Lugo, an offer the Sox have declined. ''We continue to move closer toward a discounted deal that Bronson is providing to the Boston Red Sox because he wants to do anything he can do to remain a Red Sox for not only these three years but the remainder of his career," Clifton said last night. ''He's saying, 'I know this is a discounted deal, but I want to remain here. How do I get a chance to do this forever?' ''While we do not support him in his decision to provide a discount, we hope the Boston Red Sox will not take advantage of Bronson's loyalty and use a potential discounted deal to trade him."
Arroyo Close To Long-Term Deal Against Advice