After what seems like months of waiting, pitcher Jake Arrieta finally finds a landing spot in Philadelphia.
Attention baseball fans! A free agent has signed! It’s really sad that baseball has come to the point where it takes top-flight players until mid-March to sign with a team but apparently that’s just how it’s going to be this year.
Anyway, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, former Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta is going to the Philadelphia Phillies on a three-year deal worth $75 million. The contract is also front-end loaded as Arrieta will make $30 million this year, $25 million next year with an opt-out option. Should he choose to remain with Philadelphia, he’ll net $20 million in 2020. Should Arrieta opt out after 2019, the Phillies can extend the contract another two years, starting at $20 million per year with incentives of up to $30 million based on games started and Cy Young finishes. If Arrieta reaches the maximum incentive, the contract could reach five years and $130 million. That’s a huge investment by the Phillies in a 32-year-old pitcher.
So what does this say about the Philadelphia Phillies? It says they absolutely believe the hype that is starting to grow around their organization. For years the Phillies have been the laughing stock of the NL East but slowly they’ve been accumulating some quality prospects. Now those prospects are ready to take baseball by storm and the team decided to bring in a bonafide ace to lead them to the playoffs.
Arrieta and Aaron Nola make a good 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation and young studs like Maikel Franco and Rhys Hoskins will continue to grow and turn the Phillies into a well-rounded ball club that could be competing for a Wild Card birth as soon as this year.
In conclusion, an overall good signing by the Phillies. While I had Arrieta going to the Brewers or even possibly returning to the Cubs on a one year deal, it’s good for the game to see an ace like him find a home in this wild year of free agency.