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Phillies sign Jake Arrieta to three-year, $75 million deal

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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.

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Update (5:22 PM ET): The three-year deal is for $75 million in total, per Nightengale.

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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.

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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.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.