Things are stalling on the free agent market with the season starting in three weeks. What will it take for the Phillies to sign a starter?
The Phillies start their regular season in three weeks and despite all the rumors, have yet to sign any free agent starter. They have been tied to all three of the top remaining starters on the market (Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn, and Alex Cobb) but things have stalled.
Over the last few weeks, reports indicated that Arrieta and Lynn were in contact with the Phils. There was even a report saying the team may wind up signing two starters. However, nothing more has come out since.
With such a short time between now and the start of the season, there may not be much time for these pitchers to get ready for real games. They need to work their way up to the pitch and inning counts for the regular season during spring training, which they can’t do in their own private workouts.
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Adding one of these starting pitchers would be a worthwhile addition for the Phils. Every pitcher behind Aaron Nola has questions, while Cobb, Lynn, and Arrieta would all provide some stability alongside Nola. The question is: what will it take to sign them?
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Lynn rejected a two-year, $20 million contract offer from the Twins recently.
That deal was a “non-starter” according to Berardino as Cobb is still waiting for a better offer.
Meanwhile, negotiations between Arrieta and Philadelphia stalled as he still wants a deal closer to six or seven years, while the Phils only want to give him three or four.
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With the season this close, someone is going to have to buckle and give in to get a deal done (if they still want to). Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors still expects Philadelphia to sign one of the three starters:
"I expect them to sign one of the three but I don’t think they feel any urgency to do so. If they can get Lynn/Cobb at 1-2 years or Arrieta at 3 years (probably with a huge AAV and an opt out), then sure."
Adams also said in the same chat that Cobb and Lynn are still looking for four-year deals while Arrieta isn’t likely to take a three-year deal from Philadelphia. If this is true, it makes any chance of one of these three signing with the Phillies unlikely.
There will have to be a serious change of heart either by the team or one of these three players for someone to get signed.