Nearly a week of spring training games are in the books and the triumvirate of Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Chris Archer are still free agents.
The Phillies have been tied to all three, with recent reports suggesting that Lynn is the latest in talks with Philadelphia as they look to bolster their starting rotation.
Reports say that a signing is possible, but not likely.
Sources: #Phillies have entertained possibility of signing *two* of the remaining free agent starters. While not likely to occur, the situation is financially plausible. At present, Philly has lowest payroll commitment of any @MLB team for 2018. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 1, 2018
The Phillies could use help. Spring Training, of course, means nothing in the win/loss columns but the starting pitching has been dreadful this spring. After a 1-5 start and midway through Thursdays game against the Yankees, seven starters have taken the mound. Nick Pivetta was the latest victim, failing to get through two innings. Every Phils starter save for Ben Lively has given up at least a run in their two-innings (or less) of work with Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez surrendering at least three runs.
Reinforcements would be nice and the Phillies have the money to add some with the lowest payroll in baseball and some of the highest revenue thanks to a recent deal with NBCSP network.
But there is a snag to the potential acquisitions of one of the three top available pitchers. Signing any of them would force Philly to surrender a draft pick as compensation — their second best remaining pick — and that could be a valuable asset. They would also have to give away some of their foreign-player money as well. Philadelphia already lost a pick when they signed Carlos Santana earlier this offseason.
The number of years Arrieta’s camp is asking for paired with the compensation pick could be the hinderance for the Phillies. But as the impasse draws longer, the potential of a Philly signing increases as the price drops.