Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Jake Arrieta Rumors: Phillies 'Moving Close' to Contract Agreement with Pitcher

Jake Arrieta Rumors: Phillies 'Moving Close' to Contract Agreement with Pitcher

"This is going to be a pretty flawless marriage", said Gabe Kapler, the Phillies' rookie manager, "[between] what our players need from Jake and what Jake can bring to our clubhouse". Phillies president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak worked for the Orioles when Arrieta pitched at Camden Yards. "Ultimately it's up to the people in charge to get this done and they did it".

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta had one of the oddest offseasons in recent memory.

Jake Arrieta may be taking his talents to Philadelphia but the right-handed ace made it clear in a handwritten letter posted to Twitter Tuesday that Chicago will always hold a special place in his heart. Arrieta's creatively structured contract pays him base salaries of $30 million, $25 million and $20 million through 2020. And the answer appears to be some mixture of opportunity and opportunism. The Phillies, who have plenty of money to spend, waited until the price was right for them. "He's going to take pressure off the younger guys".

The 32-year-old righty was among several top free agents who didn't get a deal for six or seven years in a changing offseason market. (And they still might, it's worth pointing out.) But in the unusual, depressed free agent market of the winter of 2017-18, the Phillies also saw the chance to find bargains - and perhaps put themselves in position to contend for a playoff spot a year early. "Even though we are technically in a rebuild, I think all the players would agree with me that we intend to win, rebuild or not". "And we're fortunate enough our ownership has taken that into their hands". ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported in December that Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, was seeking a deal in the $200 million range for his client.

Arrieta earned $15,637,500 last year in a one-year contract and many had predicted a deal with more guaranteed years. "When you bring in players like Jake, you probably put the cream in the coffee when it's ready to drink".

The Phillies haven't had a winning season since 2011, but now have added veteran slugger Carlos Santana, Arrieta and quality relievers to a young nucleus that could show considerable improvement over last season's 66-96 mark. The team has a slew of young pitchers who could fill in.

His unexpectedly harrowing ride through free agency behind him, Arrieta planned to huddle with his new manager and coaches as soon as possible and plot out a schedule that would get him ready to pitch by the first part of April. "Did it take longer than I would've liked?"

"It's a business. Am I upset of frustrated?" [But] you can't write the script yourself.

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