Mets Reportedly in "Discussions" with Jake Arrieta

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Mets Reportedly in “Discussions” with Jake Arrieta

Chicago Cubs

Whether the Cubs have continued discussions with free agent old friend Jake Arrieta after last month’s scouting session is an open question. We got a report that Arrieta’s asking price was much higher than you might expect given his last couple years, and even with some money left to spend, it’s not clear that the Cubs are going to be allocating $8+ million to a starting pitcher (or if they’d spend it on Arrieta even if they were).

And if not the Cubs, there will be other clubs interested in seeing if they can help Arrieta transition to a new phase of his career, being effective in other ways. For example, he’s reportedly been in talks with the Mets:

Jake Odorizzi is probably the best starting pitcher left on the market, so it’s maybe surprising to see the Mets not repurposing the Trevor Bauer money on a more aggressive play than Arrieta or Paxton. Martino wrote earlier this week, though: “We can report with confidence that they are more interested in Arrieta than James Paxton, Taijuan Walker or Jake Odorizzi.” So maybe they just really like Arrieta.

Mets fans reacted normally, by the way:

I guess Mets fans are still chapped about not getting Bauer, but that’s obviously a very competitive rotation as is (deGrom, Stroman, and Carrasco as a front three is awfully nice, plus interesting guys like Peterson and Lugo and Lucchesi), and they will also get back Noah Syndergaard maybe halfway through the season. You could argue that they really only need to be looking at guys like Arrieta or Paxton, but Odorizzi still seems like a fit to me. Or maybe I just don’t want him to fall to the Cardinals.

All that said, I’m a softy. I still hope the Cubs find a way to bring back Arrieta, not just for the nostalgia, but for the opportunity to be the club that sees what kind of pitcher he can be in his mid-30s. The work, the athleticism, and the pitch mix all say there’s so much there that could make for an effective pitcher, even if he’s gotta change up his delivery a bit, and even if we’re talking about back-of-the-rotation, near-league-average “effectiveness,” rather than upper-tier. You need pitchers like that, too.

Oh, and hey, if there’s not going to be a DH in the NL this year, Arrieta can hit a bit.

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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.