Report: Phillies are the Favorite to Land Jake Arrieta
The Minnesota Twins inked free agent starting pitcher Lance Lynn to a modest one-year deal worth only $12 million late yesterday afternoon. My reaction:
While I wasn’t particularly interested in Lynn, nor do I believe he would’ve have significantly changed the Phillies’ outlook this season, the modest length and money of the deal made his acquisition more palatable. That said, I’m not going to kill the Phillies for missing out on Lynn, and that’s because if they are going to jump into the free agent market to bolster a starting rotation full of question marks, it makes infinitely more sense to go after Jake Arrieta. He’s been the market’s one legitimate difference-maker all along.
If you’re going to swing, then swing big. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, it now appears Lynn’s signing has cleared the path for the Phillies to do just that.
Talks are heating up with Jake Arrieta, who’s expected to sign in the next couple of days. Several teams remain involved, but the #Phillies looming as the favorite
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 11, 2018
Yeah, I see that other teams are involved, but I care not. I see “Phillies…looming…favorite,” and that’s enough for me. Give it to me, Matt Klentak. Give it.
Here’s what I wrote about the possible addition of Arrieta a few weeks back:
The immediate impact of adding Arrieta would be substantial. His presence would give the Phillies a legitimate arm to pair with Aaron Nola and would help bring stability to a rotation in desperate need of it. If the Phillies had firm answers in the middle of their rotation, the need here wouldn’t be as great, but they don’t. After Nola, the rotation consists of regular-sized question marks (Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez) followed by even larger ones (Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Thomas Eshelman, Mark Leiter). Arrieta’s addition would push the Phillies to the fringe of contention if their lineup makes reasonable strides. This deal not only improves the roster, but it sends a strong show of support from the front office to a young team and most certainly sets the tone for what could be an exciting season. The Phillies have an opportunity to generate legitimate optimism for the first time in more than five seasons, so let’s see if they can get it done.
I see no need to amend that position. The Phillies have the need and they have the money. Get the guy in here and let’s be relevant deep into September. BE BOLD and do the deal.