Baseball's free-agent market remains in a frozen state, meaning most of the updates we get about this player or that player concern their demands or possible suitors. As it pertains to the pitching side of things, that has more often than not meant handicapping Yu Darvish's next employer and/or moving on down the the list to the Alex Cobbs and Lance Lynns of the free-agent class. The one pitcher who keeps getting looked over is former Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta.
Fortunately, ESPN's Buster Olney offered an update on Arrieta's status earlier Friday afternoon:
If Jake Arrieta ever gets to point where he defers pursuit of long-term deal in this slow market, there are teams very interested in discussing high-salary short-term deal with him.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 9, 2018
Arrieta, who will turn 32 in a month's time, just completed a three-year run that saw him post a 2.71 ERA over 94 starts. He was particularly good late last season, compiling a 1.69 ERA and nearly 40 more strikeouts than walks in 11 July and August starts. Alas, he then injured himself in his first appearance in September, and finished the month with 15 hits and nine runs allowed in just 10 innings, fattening some of his seasonal marks.
The typically stated concerns with Arrieta have to do with his age (he's older than the three aforementioned starters) and his perceived inconsistency. The real concern, however, seems to be his contractual demands --. Of course, as Olney suggests, teams are fine banking on him on a shorter deal -- it's giving him the term and the high average annual value.
We'll see which side blinks first. Just keep in mind, Arrieta is represented by Scott Boras -- and Boras is not known for blinking.