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Jake Arrieta finds a home with the Philadelphia Phillies

Jake Arrieta Phillies

Jake Arrieta has found a home for the 2018 MLB season. The Philadelphia Phillies signed the 32 year-old righty to a three-year contract. The deal is reported to be worth $75 million. Arrieta has a player option on the third year, but the Phillies can avoid an opt out by extending his contract two years. If that happens, the eight-year veteran would make $20 million each in those seasons with incentives pushing the total to $30 million. The breakdown of the first three years is $30 million, $25 million, and $20 million.

Arrieta went 14-10 with a 3.53 era for the Chicago Cubs in 2017. It was speculated that fewer innings pitched and the lack of throwing any complete games caused teams to shy away from him this off-season. There’s still plenty left in the tank though. He’s just two years out of winning the NL Cy Young award in 2015. In that year, Arrieta won 22 games, pitched four complete games with three being shutouts, and fielded a 1.77 era. He followed that up with a solid 2016 campaign, winning 18 games and finishing the season with a 3.10 era. He’s also thrown two no-hitters in his career. His 2.73 era with the Cubs is the lowest of any Cubs pitcher since 1920 with a minimum of 500 innings pitched.

With the Phillies signing Jake Arrieta, their rotation receives a significant boost. He’ll team up with Aaron Nola to improve upon a pitching staff that ranked middle of the road in the 2017 MLB season. Nola went 12-11, with a 3.54 era. The rest of the rotation will be decided between Jerad Eickhoff, Ben Lively, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter Jr., and Jake Thompson. Besides Nola, Thompson was the only other starter to have an era under four.

The late signing of Arrieta is due to a slow-moving MLB free agent market. Top pitchers remained unsigned until the Cubs signed Yu Darvish last month. Ironically, Darvish was signed to replace Arrieta’s spot in Chicago’s rotation. Regardless, he’s now found a home in the City of Brotherly Love. With a move like this, the Phillies may find themselves in playoff contention this season.