Phillies Reportedly Talking to Jake Arrieta

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Phillies Reportedly Talking to Jake Arrieta

Chicago Cubs

The biggest free agents are suddenly flying off the board – even ones represented by Scott Boras, finally – and it’s possible the next will be former Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.

Even in their rebuilding state, the team that has always made so much sense to me for Arrieta is the Phillies. When you look at the core of their talent, when you consider the Carlos Santana addition, when you consider next year’s free agent class (boffo with position players, not so much with pitching), and when you consider their oodles and oodles of money, the Phillies really need to strongly consider adding the best free agent starting pitcher they can right now. The market will never be better for a team like the Phillies to swoop in on a guy like Arrieta, and even if they don’t surprisingly compete in 2018, they should be right there in 2019 (especially given how much turnover the Nationals might see).

So, then, this sounds very right to me:

A couple things to keep in mind on that report: it’s not saying there is a serious pursuit here, yet, and Jon Heyman often gets scoops very closely tied to Scott Boras clients. In other words, that lends a lot of credence to this report, but it also does pump up Arrieta’s market a bit. So you have to have, I guess, two different kinds of salt grains in mind.

You could still see a number of teams involved on Arrieta, including the Brewers, Twins, Angels, and Nationals, but it’s hard to see any of them going way over the top to get him when you consider market size and/or luxury tax implications. I think the Cubs’ deal with Yu Darvish (six years, $126 million) set a hard cap on any deal Arrieta can realistically hope for, and I also think he’s probably going to have to accept some creative structuring at this point.

Hopefully, though, he lands somewhere competitive (outside the NL Central), gets a great contract, and gets it soon. A reminder: when Arrieta signs, the Cubs will add a draft pick after the second round (the bonus pool slot for such a pick last year was worth over $750,000).

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.