The day has finally arrived for the Phillies and Jake Arrieta
No less than 24 hours after the Minnesota Twins signed veteran starter Lance Lynn in free agency the Phillies have reportedly signed their white whale. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia report late Sunday afternoon the Phillies have a multi-year agreement with right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the deal is for three seasons worth $75 million.
The former Cubs ace was one of several marquee free agents remaining on the market weeks into spring training that hadn’t hammered out a deal. With connections to the Phillies front office from his time in Baltimore, Arrieta was heavily favorited to join Philadelphia this season.
Arrieta has taken a step back after his Cy Young season in 2015 when he won a league-high 22 games with an 1.77 ERA. At 32-years-old the prospects of Arrieta signing a long-term deal with the Phillies felt more like a fantasy than reality. General manager Matt Klentak was reportedly firm on his desire to sign a starting pitcher to a short-term deal to keep the franchise’s money free-flowing for next offseason and to not block any prospects coming through the farm.
Likely to fall short of making the rotation is Ben Lively, who was impressive in his short stints last season with the team. Nick Pivetta now becomes the favorite to earn the final spot in the starting rotation with a fastball that’s improving in camp.
Look for the rotation to be Aaron Nola, Arrieta, Vince Velasquez, Jerad Eickhoff, and Pivetta.
Expect the Phillies to announce the Arrieta signing Sunday evening with a press conference on Monday.