Bronson Arroyo has achieved a level of professional and financial success that he never dreamed of as a skinny young pitcher in Brooksville, Fla., a Tampa-St. Petersburg suburb that was once known as the "Home of the Tangerine." But he remains a staunch proponent of substance over style.

Arroyo has earned almost $72 million in his career, but he's inclined to spend it more on friends and life experiences than material things. He drives a BMW 750 that's eight years old and still lives in the 1,400-square-foot house that he built from scratch with his father, uncle and two helpers in 2003. He keeps a daily schedule with pen and paper and tucks it in his wallet each morning for handy reference. He still uses the mobile device that his agent, Terry Bross, got him in an endorsement deal with Sprint PCS in 2004. Yes, the hip, guitar-strumming guy with the flowing locks and cool persona walks around with a flip phone.

For the sake of security and peace of mind, Arroyo just wishes the phone would start ringing and vibrating a little more often.

Arroyo's first career dalliance with free agency finds him in a puzzling netherworld. Like so many other starters, he's been waiting for Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka to be posted (or not) and provide some clarity to the market. Meanwhile, trade speculation surrounding the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price and the Chicago Cubs' Jeff Samardzija is also gumming up the works.

Ricky Nolasco, Scott Feldman, Phil Hughes and Scott Kazmir, younger pitchers with lesser portfolios, have all landed multiyear deals with guaranteed payouts of $49 million, $30 million, $24 million and $22 million, respectively. Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez are generally regarded as the plums when the upper echelon starters do, indeed, start moving.