Phillies, Jake Arrieta agree to deal

Phillies, Jake Arrieta agree to deal
The Phillies appear primed to add a legitimate ace to the top of their rotation, inking former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta to a three-year deal worth $75 million, according to sources.

The deal is significantly shorter than what Arrieta hoped to receive on the free agent market, but once he conceded on his original asking price the Phillies aggressively moved forward.

The 32-year-old right-hander made 30 starts with the Cubs last season finishing with a 3.53 ERA. He's made 30 starts in each of the last three seasons and won the National League Cy Young Award in 2015 when he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 33 starts.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Arrieta will make $30 million in 2018, $25 million in 2019 and $20 million in 2020. Heyman also reported that the Phillies can void the opt-out by initiating a two-year extension that starts at $20 million per year, rises to $25 million based on games started in the first two years or up to $30 million based on Cy Young finishes. In total, the deal has the potential to reach five years and be worth $125 million to $135 million.

The contract is pending a physical.

The Phillies were always interested in Arrieta, but the organization was firm in its desire to avoid a long-term contract.

Since Arrieta rejected the Cubs' qualifying offer last year, the Phillies will forfeit their third-highest Draft pick in 2018, plus $500,000 in international signing bonus money. The club already surrendered their second-highest pick, plus $500,000 in international signing bonus money, when it signed Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million contract in December. The Phillies will also have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Arrieta might not be ready to open the season when camp breaks as he's missed the first three weeks, but assuming there are no problems with the physical he should be ready to go by mid-April at the latest.

Arrieta joins Aaron Nola atop the Phillies rotation, leaving Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Jerad Eickhoff, Zach Eflin, and Mark Leiter Jr. to battle for the final three slots.
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