Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies reach three-year deal

Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies reach three-year deal

Should Phillies' fans be excited about Jake Arrieta, if these Major League Baseball free agency reports come to fruition? Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported it was a three-year agreement worth $75 million. If their young starters can take step forward this season, the Phillies could make waves in the wild card standings.

Since Arrieta rejected the Cubs' qualifying offer past year, the Phillies will forfeit their third-highest Draft pick in 2018, plus $500,000 in global signing bonus money.

Arrieta was with the Chicago Cubs from 2013-2017.

Arrieta, the 2015 Cy Young award victor, recently turned 32 but has remained a strong starting pitcher in the Major League Baseball. There were talks and speculation that the Phillies may start the season with only four starters. Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, and Mark Leiter are all battling for a rotation spot as well.

There is an opt out in which Arrieta could leave the team after the second year, but there is also a vesting option that could stretch the deal to five years. Likewise, the deal's length is team friendly as well.

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The Phillies No. 1 hole entering this offseason was their starting rotation. Phillies officials are wary of lengthy deals for pitchers over 30.

The 2018 regular season is just about three weeks away, and Arrieta would need to sign soon if he intends to be ready to pitch on opening week.

Ultimately, Arrieta got the highest annual value for any free agent on the market but settled for the short-term guarantee and for a rebuilding team that hopes it's close to turning a competitive corner.

Neither of those deals are cheap.

Arrieta had a 4.67 ERA in first 16 starts last season, but finished strong, going 7-4 with a 2.26 ERA in his final 14 outings. The Phillies, who have plenty of money to spend, waited until the price was right for them.

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