Jake Arrieta and the Philadelphia Phillies are closing in on a deal for the free agent righthander, according to Jon Heyman. Jim Salisbury says it is a multi-year deal and agreed to pending a physical. Arrieta, a Scott Boras client, was considered one of the top free agent pitchers on the market after having turned his career around with the Chicago Cubs and put up four strong seasons.
The 32 year old Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award in 2015, but has declined each of the last two years, and his 2017 campaign, where he put up a 3.53 ERA and 4.16 FIP in 30 starts, had led to some concerns about whether he was more of a mid-rotation starter at this point of his career, rather than a top of the rotation type.
The Phillies have been linked to him all offseason, though, with the front office having ties to him dating back to when both they, and Arrieta, were in Baltimore. Having given up their second round pick to sign Carlos Santana, the Phillies will just lose a third rounder for signing Arrieta, should a deal get done.
UPDATE — Bob Nightengale says it is a three year deal for $75 million.
UPDATE — Per Heyman, Arrieta gets $30 million in 2018, $25 million in 2019, and $20 million in 2020, with an opt-out after 2019. However, Heyman says the Phillies can buy out the opt out by invoking a clause that would provide for a two year extension for 2021-22, with annual salaries of $20-30 million depending on games started and Cy Young finishes in the first two years of the deal.