Yesterday, The Phillies signed top free agent starter, Jake Arrieta to a 3 year, $75 million deal (as reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia). He will receive $30 million in 2018, $25 million in 2019, and $20 million in 2020. The deal also includes an opt out after the after the second season, but also has a void option for the Phillies (if he decides to opt-out) for the 2021, and 2022 season, with a base salary of $20 million (could earn up to $25 million total in performance incentives). Arrieta has also been linked to The Nationals, and Brewers, as other possible landing spots for him.
Arrieta was originally an Orioles top prospect, but struggled in his time in Baltimore. During the 2013 season, Arrieta was shipped to The Cubs, with Pedro Strop, for Scott Feldman, and Steve Clevenger. In 2014, Arrieta would have a very good breakout season, going 10-5, with a 2.53 ERA, .989 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, and an impressive .3 HR/9 in 156.2 innings. Arrieta would continue to improve in 2015, his best season. During his 2015 Cy Young season, Arrieta went 22-6, with a microscopic 1.77 ERA, to go along with similar K/9, and HR/9 numbers he had in the previous season, in 229 innings of work. Though he has declined the past 2 season, with his ERA rising from 3.10 to 3.53 in 2016 and 2017, along with his average fastball velocity sitting in the 94 range to the 92 range, Arrieta is still a very solid starting pitcher. To wrap it up, Arrieta’s time in a Cubs uniform was very successful, with a 2.73 ERA, 1.034 WHIP, .7 HR/9, and 8.9 K/9 rate, along with a World Series Ring, a Cy Young and a Silver Slugger in 803 innings in a Chicago uniform.
With the acquisition of Arrieta, and Santana earlier this off-season, The Phillies could be contenders within the next few years, if they continue to add to a young core, and this young core can prove themselves in the majors.