The Phils realized they had a glaring need and tried to address it by making a bold move.
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Arrieta's numbers in Chicago decreased a year ago. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a successful physical.
Arrieta, the 2015 National League Cy Young Award victor, was the fourth free agent signed to a multiyear deal by the Phillies this offseason and the fourth eight-figure contract the team has handed out. Now they've added a proven No. 1 starter to a slew of young arms in the rotation. Jerad Eickhoff (4-8, 4.71 ERA), Vince Velasquez (2-7, 5.13 ERA) and Zach Eflin (1-5, 6.16 ERA) are coming off injuries. "Jake, in our opinion, was the best player available this offseason".
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"We showed [last year] we had some pretty good players", Hoskins said. But it's what he does in the clubhouse and the dugout and for the other players on the days he's not pitching that's going to make a huge difference.
But when the Philadelphia Phillies unveiled new ace Jake Arrieta on Tuesday, the big moment came along the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida, almost a month into spring training, 16 days from Opening Day - a reality that added another layer of intrigue and altered the typical atmosphere of these ceremonies, turning parts of Arrieta's introduction into something more resembling a pep rally. A greeting committee welcomed him upon arrival. The contract is reportedly for three years and worth $75 million. He can opt out of the deal after 2019, and the Phillies have the ability to void the opt-out and exercise a two-year option that could keep him with the organization through 2022.
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Arrieta, who just turned 32, had a 3.53 ERA last season in 168.3 innings over 30 starts with the Cubs. He also won both starts in the World Series, helping the Cubs end their 108-year drought. He was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA a year ago. Opponents logged a.283/.364/.528 slash line vs. his cutter, compared to.186/.239/.271 in 2015. Arrieta was 2-0 in the seven-game series against Cleveland. "You get to a point in your career where you understand that pitching isn't all about velocity, " he said. "I looked myself in the mirror, as well as my two year old son and pregnant wife knowing in my heart that everything was about to change". "If that velocity does go back to 95-96, the league is in a lot of trouble".