The Phillies have had a rather uneventful offseason, with the signing of new manager Gabe Kapler, Rockies relief pitcher Pat Neshek, and Indians first baseman Carlos Santana being the only notable moves made by general manager Matt Klentak since the end of the 2017 season. However, a report by MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman says that the Phillies are talking to Cubs starter Jake Arrieta about a short-term deal with the club.
Arrieta has had a phenomenal run with the Cubs, playing a key role in ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, becoming a superstar in the process. He won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award and won 68 games while posting a 2.73 ERA in those 4 years with Chicago. The 2017 season wasn’t as friendly to Arrieta as previous seasons (14-10, 3.53 ERA) but he improved after the All-Star Break (6-3, 2.28 ERA), and posted a 0.84 ERA and struck out 13 batters in 2 games against 2 of the best slugging teams in the majors in the Nationals in the NLDS and the Dodgers in the NLCS.
With starting pitching being the main concern over this Phillies team going into the 2018 season, it would be nice to see an Arrieta-Aaron Nola one-two punch that could improve the starting pitching to some degree throughout the year. At only 31 years old, Arrieta can still produce at a solid level for another 3-4 years, the perfect fit for a team I think can make a run at the playoffs this season; the addition of a big-game pitcher to the mix of up-and-coming talent on the offensive end only spells more wins for this club. The acquisition of Arrieta would be a loud explanation point to cap off a quiet offseason from the Phils.
Written by Kevin Isdell. All Stats Courtesy of Baseball-Reference.