The most prominent free agent still standing is finally off the market: starter Jake Arrieta will be welcomed to Philadelphia with a brand-new Phillies jersey and a giant tub of coconut oil for manager-approved extracurricular activities.
Arrieta has a 3-year, $75 million deal, a lofty price, though unsurprising for one of superagent Scott Boras’ clients. The 32-year-old Arrieta has a 3.57 career ERA, a win-loss record of 88-56, and 1,070 strikeouts. In 2015, he won the NL Cy Young award after posting a 1.77 ERA over 229 innings, with two complete games that season and a no-hitter. His third complete game of the season was the 2015 National League Wild Card game, when he struck out eleven batters and the Cubs defeated the Pirates, 4-0.
Arrieta was an integral member of the Chicago Cubs’ historic 2016 World Series team when they became champions for the first time since 1908. In the 2nd inning of Game 3 of the NLDS, he hit a 3-run homer off Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner to give Chicago an early lead. On the mound, Arrieta won Games 2 and 6 of the 7-game World Series.
In 2017, the 6″4 righty posted a 3.53 ERA with a 14-10 record and 163 strikeouts, his third consecutive season making at least 30 starts. He’s a smart acquisition for the rebuilding Phillies team, a consistent pitcher with three consecutive postseason appearances and a World Series title under his belt.
The Phillies are the oldest continuous franchise in the Major Leagues, but didn’t win their first championship until 1980, 97 years after their inception. Their second and most recent title came almost thirty years later in 2008. Their last playoff appearance was in 2011, their fifth consecutive NL East championship before spiraling disastrously into failure. Now, with young manager Gabe Kapler at the helm and the signings of Arrieta and Carlos Santana, the Philadelphia team might just bounce back after finishing 66-96 last season, last-place in their division for the second time in three seasons. The Phillies just got a little more *phormidable*…