Jake Arrieta Rumors: Padres 'Talking Internally' About Signing Ex-Cubs Pitcher

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 18, 201,7 file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta throws during the first inning of Game 4 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Chicago. Cubs pitchers Arrieta and Wade Davis  were among nine free agents who turned down $17.4 million qualifying offers from their teams Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The San Diego Padres have been "talking internally" about the possibility of signing veteran free-agent pitcher Jake Arrieta, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

His signing may be a long shot, per Heyman: "Padres sources suggest they are checking in with a number of star free agents remaining periodically in case there's a deal that makes sense but ultimately expect to go with the young pitchers they currently have in camp."

Heyman added that the Padres may have been looking for a bargain deal on the veteran starting pitcher, considering he remains unsigned, but that it's unlikely Arrieta will sign for anything below what he judges to be fair value:

"Word around Arrieta has been that he isn't anxious to sign what he considered an under-market deal, and also that he has the fortitude to wait things out. The Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles are teams that seem most interested in adding a starting pitcher, but a former Cy Young winner such as Arrieta could help just about any team."

Heyman noted that the Washington Nationals also may have interest, though no significant talks have taken place between the sides.

Arrieta, 32, went 14-10 in 2017, posting a 3.53 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 163 strikeouts in 168.1 innings. While he may no longer be the dominant pitcher who won the National League Cy Young in 2015, he would bolster any rotation in baseball, including San Diego's starting five.

The Padres were 22nd in ERA last season (4.67), 18th in quality starts (67), 16th in opponents' batting average (.259) and tied for seventh in complete games (two). At this point, Clayton Richard and Bryan Mitchell headline the rotation as a number of pitchers jockey for spots.

Arrieta, without question, would be the top dog of the group and complete an aggressive offseason for the team after it also signed first baseman Eric Hosmer.

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