Lukewarm Stove: PHI Wants to Sign Arrieta (If), TB Selloff Finally Over?, BOS OF, Flurry of Signings, More

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Lukewarm Stove: PHI Wants to Sign Arrieta (If), TB Selloff Finally Over?, BOS OF, Flurry of Signings, More

Chicago Cubs

Now that J.D. Martinez (five years/$110M), Eric Hosmer (eight years/$144M), and Yu Darvish (6 years/$126M) – three of the offseason’s biggest free agents – have signed, we’re seeing a lot more action trickle out around the rest of the league.

But before we get into any of that, let’s start with the one remaining unsigned big-time free agent out there, Jake Arrieta.

  • At NBC Sports Chicago, Jim Salisbury writes about the Phillies’ present desire and ability to sign Arrieta, to whom they have recently been connected … under one condition: “It is believed the Phillies would be willing to sign Arrieta, who turns 32 in March, to a two- or three-year contract, at a significant salary and possibly with some creative structure such as an out after one year.” Uh, yeah, well that’s sorta the problem though, isn’t it? Plenty of teams would be willing to sign Jake Arrieta to a two or three-year deal. He wants much more than that, and that’s why we’re still discussing this during Spring Training in the first place. And as for the “opt-out,” kicker … that’s not going to do much for Arrieta if the deal is only for two years anyway – or, at least, it won’t do as much as it might for a player on a longer-term deal. At that point, you’re talking about a one-year contract, with a one-year player option. Sure, Arrieta is going to have to be realistic, but that seems silly.
  • I still think the Phillies have a good shot at being the final landing spot for Arrieta, but my guess is he gets at least four or five years and $100 million. I just can’t see him or Scott Boras settling for anything less, given that they were basically asking for DOUBLE that at the outset of the offseason. But hey, at least the Phillies have some interest and are clearly willing to make a move:

  • In the end, I’m guessing Arrieta will probably have to settle for one of those creative contracts with multiple opt-outs and incentives baked into the mix – Brett discussed this trend recently. Arrieta’s not likely to land the sort of guarantee he was looking for at the beginning of the winter, but I bet he/Boras will secure a *chance* at earning the big bucks with sufficiently superb play. Separately, Salisbury also mentions the Nationals and Cardinals as potential suitors, but mostly in a broader sense.
  • A reminder: if and when Arrieta signs a new contract, the Cubs pick up an additional draft pick after the second round.
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
  • As for some of that increased movement today, here’s some of the hits:

  • In addition to the four moves above, the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired outfielder Bryce Brentz from the Red Sox. Brentz, still just 29, is a former first-rounder who never quite made it, but will now give it a shot in a different organization. Given that the Red Sox just landed J.D. Martinez, though, the outfield picture needed to be cleared up a bit. Just don’t expect it to extend much further into the big-league picture:

  • I’d say the writing is on the wall, yes? I’d also say … dang. It was always a long shot that Martinez wouldn’t be cleared to sign by MLB until next period (when the Cubs could sign him for more than the $300K they’re limited to right now), but I was hoping that there was still a chance. Instead, it seems as though he’ll probably wind up in Texas. Gotta use that Ohtani money somewhere.
  • The Cubs did make some under-the-radar international signings lately, though, including free agent left-hander Johan Lopez (19 years old), outfielder Josue Fernandez (17-years-old), right-hander Raidel Orta (21 years old and former top 20ish prospect in Cuba), and outfielder Kevin Moreno (17-years-old). Because these players are so young, from other countries, and weren’t previously-discussed as top international prospects, there’s not a ton of information out there on any of them, besides Orta, who, as I mentioned, was previously considered one of the top Cuban prospects.
  • And finally, after adding Odorizzi from the Rays, Jon Heyman adds a little context to the Twins additions and offers earlier in the year:

  • Could they, too, still be in on Arrieta?


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami