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.
A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.
MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.
The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.
St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.
There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.
Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.
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