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Jake Arrieta exercises $20 million 2020 option

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In a move that was anticipated by absolutely everyone, Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta exercised his $20 million option for 2020 over the weekend.

Arrieta inked a three-year, $75 million deal when he signed with the Phillies before the 2018 season. It contained an opt-out for this offseason or, alternatively, the player option for $20 million. After a year in which he posted an ERA of 4.64 in 135.2 innings over 24 starts, missing time due to bone spur surgery, there was no way he was going to get more than $20 million as a free agent, so he was wise to stick with the bird in the hand.

Still, the Phillies are actually saving $5 million on his services compared to this past season, as the $75 million deal was structured to have him make $30 million in 2018, $25 million in 2019, and $20 million next year. Given that he is expected to be back to full health well in advance of spring training, a bounce back season is not out of the question. And if he bounces back, that $20 million might be a pretty decent deal for Philly.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.