Given that he was a late bloomer and just now hit free agency heading into his age-32 season, free-agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta is in the midst of his one chance to really break the bank in his career. He's our second-ranked starting pitcher on the market and has no shortage of teams at least kicking the tires here, including the Brewers, Rangers, Astros and Twins with his most recent team, the Cubs, hanging on the periphery.
We can now add the Phillies and Nationals to the list of possible suitors, reports Jon Heyman. It makes sense. The Phillies have almost no money on the books moving forward but do have a void of good big-league talent. They'll be looking to spend a lot these next two years in hoping to resuscitate the franchise. As for the Nats, they have but one guaranteed year left in the window of contention with Bryce Harper on the team before he hits free agency and they need to go all out.
In Arrieta's 4 1/2 seasons with the Cubs, he was 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 793 strikeouts in 803 innings. He won a Cy Young, threw two no-hitters and pitched to a 3.08 ERA in nine postseason starts -- including a Wild Card Game shutout and winning a World Series ring. He's got the resume.
Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, would like the MLB owners to know this, too. So much so, that, via ESPN's Jerry Crasnick ...
Boras said Monday that he has sent a 75-page binder exclusively to MLB owners on behalf of Arrieta
Crasnick also reports that the asking price is in the ballpark of $200 million.
First off, let me just say I'm more awestruck by the 75-page binder than the $200 million. Imagine being a billionaire and having someone deliver a 75-page binder of facts on Jake Arrieta to you. The reactions likely vary from hysterical laughter to indignant dunking of the binder into the nearest trash bin. Then there are the teams interested in Arrieta. They likely have to look through the binder in order to be able to plausibly prove that they did read it all. So we're left picturing a billionaire assigning some intern to read it word-for-word and prepare a Cliff Notes version that they can memorize, all the while being incredibly annoyed at this homework assignment.
It's just too funny. Say what you will about Boras, but he's wildly entertaining. He's generally great at his job, too, but even he is no guarantee. Just a few years ago, both Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew went into the season unemployed. Hopefully Arrieta doesn't follow in their footsteps. The smart money is on him landing a huge deal, albeit one for greatly less than $200 million.