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Report: Jake Arrieta is drawing interest from five teams


Five teams have reached out to Scott Boras about free agent right-hander Jake Arrieta, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reports. No concrete offers appear to be on the table just yet, but the Twins, Brewers, Blue Jays, Rockies and Rangers have reportedly made their interest known and it’s conceivable that the Cubs would throw their hats back in the ring as well. The righty officially declined his $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cubs several weeks ago.

Arrieta, 31, finished his fifth run with Chicago in 2017. After laboring through the first half of the year with a 4.00+ ERA, he settled into a groove during the club’s stretch run and ended the season with a 3.53 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 through 168 1/3 innings. A right hamstring strain robbed him of two weeks in mid-September, but he was able to rebound in time to make a pair of strong playoff appearances.

While the veteran righty may no longer have the ability to reach the sub-2.00 ERA, 5.0+ fWAR totals he enjoyed in 2014-2015, his consistency and relative good health should keep him in fine condition to turn in another 30 starts next year. Only 31-year-old right-hander Yu Darvish is expected to command a bigger contract in free agency this winter, which puts Arrieta in an enviable position as teams vie for their next ace. No frontrunner has emerged for his services yet, but whoever does is expected to pony up a multiyear offer in excess of $100 million.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.