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.