Jake Arrieta Rumors: Phillies 'Moving Close' to Contract Agreement with Pitcher

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2018

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Free-agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta's long wait to find a new team this offseason could be nearing an end. 

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the Philadelphia Phillies are "moving close to a deal" with Arrieta. Earlier, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported talks with Arrieta were "heating up," with the Phillies viewed as the favorites to sign the 2015 National League Cy Young winner. 

One of the marquee free agents in this year's class, Arrieta has had a surprisingly long offseason. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported in December that Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, was seeking a deal in the $200 million range for his client. 

The Phillies have been connected to Arrieta going back to the winter meetings. They already made one big splash this offseason, signing first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year contract. 

Arrieta has been one of MLB's best pitchers since 2015. He ranks third among all NL starters with 13.5 FanGraphs wins above replacement over the past three seasons, trailing only Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. His 2.71 ERA is only behind Kershaw's 2.07 mark during that span. 

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