Update (7:02 PM ET): Heyman notes that Arrieta will earn $30 million, $25 million, and $20 million across his three-year deal. He can opt out of his contract after the second year. The deal also includes two options that can bring the value of the deal between $125 million and $135 million.
Update (5:22 PM ET): The three-year deal is for $75 million in total, per Nightengale.
Update (4:57 PM ET): Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports the multi-year deal (three years, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports) is agreed to in principle and is pending a physical.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies are close to an agreement with free agent Jake Arrieta. No word yet on the length or total value of the reported deal.
As Ashley mentioned earlier, Arrieta was expected to sign with a team this week as free agent dominoes finally begin to fall. The Phillies have long been a rumored landing spot for Arrieta, along with the Nationals and Padres.
Arrieta, 32, finished last season with a 14-10 record, a 3.53 ERA, and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings for the Cubs. He was a bit more fly ball-prone than he had been in recent seasons, which led to yielding a few more home runs than he typically allows. Arrieta also lost 1.6 MPH on his average fastball velocity.
Arrieta makes a lot of sense for the Phillies, who are close to being legitimately competitive for the first time in quite a few years. Aaron Nola has already been named the Opening Day starter, so Arrieta will slot behind him and ahead of Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez. Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, and Mark Leiter are all battling for a rotation spot as well. Arrieta adds some stability to the rotation and will serve as a stabilizing force in an otherwise young clubhouse.
I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.
While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.
There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.
Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.
Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.
Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice. And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.