Monday, March 12, 2018

Hot Stove Update: Jake Arrieta Signs With the Phillies

Jake Arrieta finally found a home, signing with the Phillies for 3 years/$75 M.  This is $25 M and 1 year less than MLBTR's prediction way back when the Hot Stove first fired up and WAY less than his original asking price of $200 M.  The deal breaks down to a front-loaded contract of $30 M in 2018, $25 M in 2019 and $20 M in 2020.  He has an opt out after 2 years, but the Phillies also have an option to void the opt out and extend the contract for another year with base pay of $20 M for each of the last 2 seasons with incentives to $30 M each of those seasons.  So, the maximum payout from the deal could go as high as $105 M over 4 years which is right where MLBTR had him pegged, but a lot has to happen to get to there.

This has to be a disappointment for Arrieta, who as recently as 2 years ago was among the best 2 or 3 pitchers in baseball.  Last season was not nearly as good with an ERA of 3.53, and some analysts think they see the beginnings of or the downhill phase of his career.  The higher ERA came with a higher BABIP and HR/FB, so it's possible that it was all due to bad luck, but according to Fangraphs, if you dig deeper into the granular data, there were definite problems with his slider, which had been his wipeout pitch.

It's a bit of a head scratcher why a rebuilding team like the Phillies would put out a contract like this that will likely expire before they reach their window of contention.  On the other hand, if Arrieta can pitch even as good as he did last year, he could propel them into playoff contention ahead of schedule.  It's a lot of money with a significant risk for that chance, though.


  1. Oddly, they appear to be going all in to win, what this deal and the one for Carlos Santana.

    My best guess is that they expect to be playoff competitive in the next 2-3 years.

  2. I believe the max is 5/135. From my reading at least.