The wait is over. The Phillies have inked the best remaining free agent to a reported three-year, $75 million deal — as Jake Arrieta will step in and anchor the Phillies pitching rotation. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported the news.
The timing makes sense, as the first domino finally dropped in the free agency impasse as Lance Lynn signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the twins. Arrieta’s deal nets him the cash he wanted but likely not the years, as he has been looking for a long term contract and settled for three years in Philly.
The deal is also more costly than simply the millions promised to the ace. Since Arrieta turned down a qualifying offer with Chicago, the Phils will need to surrender their second best draft pick if they want to sign Arrieta, as well as $500,000 from their international signing bonus stockpile.
Arrieta recently turned 32 and is fresh off a 14-10 season with a 3.53 ERA in Chicago. He has been rumored to have been in discussions with the Phillies since February, after the Cubs chose to sign Yu Darvish instead of Arrieta.
Arrieta will become an anchor for a young unproven Phillies pitching staff, headlined currently by Aaron Nola and supported by unknowns like Zach Eflin, Ben Lively, Mark Leiter Jr., Vince Velasquez and others.
The signing actually does make the Phillies borderline wild card contenders, as their offense boasts young and potent bats. There are few sure things on the Phillies roster in 2018, but Arrieta absolutely becomes one of the most reliable and proven players on the squad.