MLB Rumors: The Padres are reportedly looking into signing Jake Arrieta
Maybe the Arrieta market is finally heating up?
We're well into Cactus and Grapefruit League play, and veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta remains unsigned. That's surprising, given that Arrieta is one of this winter's top free agents. Maybe, though, things are finally falling into place? Here's this Arrieta nugget from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports ...
As mentioned above, the Padres have already inked first baseman Eric Hosmer to a nine-figure contract, so they're clearly willing to invest in near- and -mid-term improvements and build around what is one of the best farm systems in the game. San Diego presently has Clayton Richard penciled in as its likely Opening Day starter, and it's likely No. 2 man is in camp on a non-roster invitation (Tyson Ross). Suffice it to say, they could use a rotation upgrade.
As for Arrieta, who turned 32 on Tuesday, he has declined a bit since his Cy Young season of 2015, but he has still been an excellent starting pitcher. Over the past two seasons, Arrieta has made 61 starts and pitched to a 3.30 ERA (129 ERA+) while striking out roughly a batter per inning. As well, he hasn't been on the disabled list since early in the 2014 season. His fastball velocity was down overall last season, but part of that was an intentional effort to pitch to contact more often.
It has already been reported that the Nationals, Phillies and Brewers have at least some interest in Arrieta, so the Padres have company. Arrieta's agent Scott Boras recently suggested that things might be coming together ...
So perhaps one of the top free agents of this class will find a new employer before the season begins.
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