Phillies rumors: Jake Arrieta being considered by team
By John Town
The Phillies are reportedly considering signing free agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, but he may not be the ideal fit.
The MLB Winter Meetings rumor mill continues to churn this week, and the Phillies are right in the center of it, whether it comes to free agency or trade. The latest free agency rumor centers around former Cubs starter Jake Arrieta.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Philadelphia is considering signing Arrieta. He points to Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail’s connection to Arrieta when he was still an Oriole. However, Heyman also notes that since the Phils are not contenders just yet, they may not be the best match for Arrieta.
Another reason why he may not be the best fit in Philadelphia is that Arrieta is looking for a long-term deal. Klentak and MacPhail have expressed hesitance to sign a starting pitcher to as long of a deal as Arrieta probably wants. They are concerned about the possibility of injuries and/or a sharp decrease in production, both of which burned the team in previous years.
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Plus, Arrieta would likely garner a deal worth upwards of $100 million, another red flag for this front office. MacPhail said earlier this offseason that the team will invest their money into the peripheral aspects of the team and the stadium experience rather than on large free agents.
There are plenty of other teams also in the hunt for Arrieta. The Cubs are still holding out that he may return to Chicago.
Meanwhile, the Brewers, Rockies, Twins, Blue Jays, Rangers, Astros, and Nationals all have shown at least some interest in potentially signing Arrieta. Pretty much every one of those teams is closer to contention than the Phils.
However, Arrieta would certainly provide a well-needed boost to this rotation. Besides Aaron Nola, it was a dumpster fire for most of the season. Arrieta’s ERA was its highest since 2013 when he was traded to the Cubs, but he was markedly better in the second half with a 2.28 ERA, 1.090 WHIP, and 3.05 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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Arrieta may not be the best choice for a free agent, but he is at least worth kicking the tires on and seeing if anything comes to fruition.