The Phillies are one among several teams who are rumored to be interested in signing Jake Arrieta in free agency this offseason.
The Phillies are finally in a position to make a big move in free agency this offseason. If they choose to do so this year, they could sign someone to make a positive impact in their starting rotation. One potential option is Cubs starter Jake Arrieta.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that Philadelphia is one of several teams who will be after Arrieta in free agency:
"3. Jake Arrieta, RHP, free agent — His four-plus seasons with the Cubs produced a 68-31 record and 2.73 ERA. He struggled in the first half of this past season, but in 12 second-half starts he went 6-3 with a 2.28 ERA. Arrieta should get plenty of attention in free agency, with the Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Phillies all likely to compete for a pitcher who will likely get close to $25 million a year. Whether it’s for four or five years is the question."
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Arrieta is arguably the top starting pitcher in this year’s free agent market and will likely sign a large, lucrative contract. Philadelphia is one of the few teams who have the money to offer him such a large deal, but whether or not they want to is another matter.
As Cafardo mentioned, Arrieta had a poor first half but turned it around after the All-Star Break this season.
In the National League Division Series, Arrieta gave up five walks and two hits in four innings, winding up as the losing pitcher in Game Four. In Game Four of the National League Championship Series, he walked five batters again but more than doubled his strikeout total from the NLDS, allowing him to go 6.2 innings and win Chicago’s only game in the NLCS.
Arrieta is on the wrong side of 30, which is especially important considering how quickly pitchers can deteriorate. Philadelphia’s front office has expressed hesitance with giving out long-term contracts to older pitchers, but they may be able to find an offer that makes both them and Arrieta happy.
Adding Arrieta to the starting rotation would do plenty to establish consistency that didn’t exist at all in 2017. Arrieta and Aaron Nola could form a strong front end of the rotation that can consistently help the team win.