Possible landing spots for Jake Arrieta
All of the top free agents that headlined the 2018 offseason have been signed. All except for one. Most recently with the Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta is still looking for a team to call home in 2018. Here are a five possible landing spots for the 31-year old right hander. This list is in no particular order.
Philadelphia Phillies: As mentioned in my last piece, Arrieta and the Phillies would be a perfect fit for both parties involved. The Phillies need a veteran hurler on a young staff to mentor the young guys and he wouldn’t be a bad player either. Arrieta didn’t quite have as an impressive season last year as his 2016 Cy Young winning year. Arrieta went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA as he sat down 163 batters and had a WAR at 1.9. The Phillies best pitcher last season was Aaron Nola. Nola finished the year with a record of 12-11, an ERA at 3.54, 184 K’s and a WAR of 4.3. Other than Nola, the Phillies don’t have much in the rotation. Jerad Eickhoff is currently listed at the number two starter in the rotation and a record of 4-8, an ERA of 4.71 and a WAR of 0.8 isn’t going to cut it as a number two starter on a young Phillies team. Last week, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that both the Phillies and Arrieta have had dialogue.
Washington Nationals: According to USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale, the Nationals remain engaged with Arrieta and is the team’s top priority. Arrieta would make the Nationals downright scary and might, just might, get the Nationals out of the NLDS round if he signs. A rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark, A.J. Cole and Jake Arrieta could very well be the best rotation in the league and a four-man rotation of Scherzer, Strasburg, Arrieta and Roark would be a nightmare to opponents.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers might not be finished with their big offseason. After landing Christian Yelich in a trade with the Marlins and signing Lorenzo Cain to a 5-year deal, the Brewers lineup is set and ready to do damage. But the one potential issue that the Brewers could possibly have is the rotation. There are no big names, there are a few “has beens” such as Jhoulys Chacin and Yovanni Gallardo, there isn’t really a true “Ace”. Sure, Chase Anderson had a fantastic year last season as he went 12-4 with a 2.74 ERA, 133 strikeouts and a WAR of 4.0, but his season last year was an outlier compared to his three previous seasons where he put up at least a 4.00 ERA so it’s hard to see if he can replicate last year’s success. Placing Arrieta in that rotation would surely make the Brewers a playoff team and potentially a contender for the Cubs’ N.L. Central crown.
New York Yankees: Whenever there is a big name free agent on the market, you can always count on the Yankees to be a contender. The Yankees have everything. They have the hitters, they have the bullpen, but the one potential wild card this season can be the rotation. Luis Severino and Sonny Gray are almost certain to have good 2018 seasons but the other three in the rotation have a few question marks. Masahiro Tanaka had adown year last season as he posted a 4.74 ERA, CC Sabathia is 37, turning 38 in July and Jordan Montgomery is still very young and while he had some success in the majors last year, he was sent down to the minors at one point. Adding Arrieta to this rotation would definitely help the Yankees, especially with Sabathia on his way out the door to retirement.
Baltimore Orioles: Ever since the Orioles became good again back in the early 2010’s, their main issue with every team, even the playoff teams, has been the rotation. They’ve never had an ace. Even Arrieta himself was on the Orioles at the start of his career from 2010-2013. Arrieta went 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in his time with the O’s, so it’s safe to say he’s a much better pitcher now than he was then. The Orioles can use a guy like Arrieta in the rotation as their best starters right now are Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, both young pitchers. Just like the Phillies, Arrieta can come in and mentor the young guys and of course, be a valuable piece to the Orioles rotation in a very competitive A.L. East.