HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I was out of town all weekend but not totally removed from baseball. Indeed, on Saturday night I realized that I can get more games — plus MLB Network — on the dinky little cable system that serves my mother-in-law’s house in Mt. Hope, West Virginia than I can get on the cable system that serves my home here in the Columbus, Ohio Metroplex. That’s totally fair.  Can someone please remind me why I still live in this godforsaken place?

Here’s what went down while you were contemplating your existence this weekend:

  • Don Wakamatsu and Chone Figgins get into it in the dugout on Friday night. No apparent discipline for Figgins, plus he’s in the lineup the next day. Dead manager walking!

With the trade deadline hitting on Saturday, this is going to be a nutso week, everyone. I predict the rumor-to-transaction ratio to be something like 150:1. Keep clicking back here for a bit of sanity and insight into what is b.s. and what is not. Well, except when we spew our own b.s., but you’re used to that already.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.