The Philadelphia Phillies have an “agreement in principle” on a multi-year deal with free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The contract is for three years and $75 million, per USA Today.
Arrieta has been one of the top players on a chaotic MLB free agent market all offseason. He became the odd man out with the Cubs after the team signed Yu Darvish to a long-term deal in February, then needed to wait until just weeks before the start of the season to secure a job. A three-year term is far shorter than many expected before the offseason, although it may be considered a win for his camp to land a $25 million annual salary.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said on Sunday that he was hoping Arrieta would find a good destination this winter. The good news for the Cubs is that he’s not in the same division after teams such as the Brewers and Cardinals were linked to the free agent.
“I want what’s best for Jake and his family, period,” Maddon said when asked if he hopes Arrieta doesn’t wind up with a division rival such as the Brewers or Cardinals. “Wherever that deal occurs, Jake did so much wonderful work for the Cubs. And as a person and as a family member, he benefitted my family; that’s the way I look at it.
“He came here to be a Cub, and he did that, and he ascended to a Cy Young and everything else – three years of playoffs. Wow I want nothing but good things to happen to Jake.”
Arrieta pitched four-plus seasons for the Cubs after being acquired in a trade with the Orioles. He won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award with a 1.77 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 229 innings, then helped lead the Cubs to the 2016 World Series title over the Indians. Last season, he recorded a 3.53 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 168.1 innings.
The Cubs are set to play the Phillies at Wrigley Field on June 5-7, so that may be fans’ first chance to see Arrieta in his new uniform.