Earlier in the offseason, Arroyo had made overtures to a New England newspaper that he might want to return to his beloved Boston and the Red Sox when his contract was up after 2008. Like Harang, he also passed on a chance for a potentially bigger payday as a free agent in two years based on the colossal contracts given to pitchers this winter.But Arroyo discovered he liked Cincinnati and Cincinnati fans have certainly taken to him over the past year. Between his on-field performances and burgeoning musical career locally, he has taken on a cult icon status in the city. "Everywhere I go in the city, people have talked friendly with me," Arroyo said. "I say I've enjoyed it as much as any other city I've played in, other than coming to the ballpark and not quite having it full all the time. I had two years until free agency. I've really enjoyed myself here. It's a little quieter, a little more simple [of a] lifestyle. "It's comfortable here. With what's going on this offseason, pitchers are getting outrageous sums of money. For me to pass up the opportunity to sign a two-year deal with the offer they had, it would have been stupid. Had I been in a place that I really, really hated and didn't want to come to the ballpark every day, maybe I wouldn't do it." Krivsky first approached one of Arroyo's agents about an extension during December's Winter Meetings. Talks didn't get going until about two weeks ago. "He was signed already, but on the other hand, we wanted to approach him when we knew we were going to be extending Aaron out as long as we were," Krivsky said. "I thought it was only right to approach Bronson and ownership gave me the OK." Thursday also marked Krivsky's one-year anniversary as Reds GM. His first trade came March 20, 2006, when he acquired Arroyo from Boston for slugger Wily Mo Pena. It proved to be one of the best deals made in baseball last season. When Krivsky took the job, Harang was the only consistent starter in the Reds' rotation. The staff certainly seems to be in better shape than a year ago and the future appears bright with top pitching prospect Homer Bailey on the verge of reaching the Majors. "Aaron's emergence, Bronson's durability and the quality of his performance," Krivsky said. "Having them both signed is huge for us. I have to think players on the club are saying 'Maybe it could be me somewhere down the road.'"
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.