The free agent market in Major League Baseball continues to move along at a snail’s pace as spring training is less than a week away.
Even the rumors are beginning to slow down and when they do hit the headlines they are not as certain as they once were and may just be used to attract attention to a specific player or team.
When it pertains to pitchers, the headliner for all of the offseason for starters has been Yu Darvish, who ended his season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after starting with the Texas Rangers. The next level of starter includes pitchers like Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb who are both very reliable starters but do not have the same talent of Darvish.
One pitcher who appears to have disappeared off the radar for most teams is Jake Arrieta the right-hander who formerly played with the Chicago Cubs.
On Friday, one report said that if Arrieta were ever to give up pursuit of signing a long-term deal during this ultra-slow market, there are several teams highly interested in talking to him about a short-term high salary deal.
Arrieta, who will be 32 next month, completed his three-year contract at the end of the 2017 season. Over 94 starts during that period, Arrieta posted an ERA of 2.71. Late in the 2017 season he was very good, compiling an ERA of 1.69 with close to 40 more strikeouts than walks in his 11 starts between July and August.
However, he was injured in the first appearance he made in September, and ended that month with nine runs given up across only 10 innings on 15 hits, which bloated some of his marks for the season.
The concerns that are most often heard when it comes to Arrieta have been about his age, as he is older than Darvish, Cobb and Lynn as well as a perceived inconsistency. However, the concern that is the biggest at this point is the contractual demands of Arrieta. It has been reported that the hurler wanted as much as $200 million.
Hopefully for Arrieta he hears these rumors or agent Scott Boras does so he can start negotiating with a team or teams and come to an agreement on something more short term with a high annual salary.
The season will be upon teams quicker than they think and filling empty spots on the roster will soon become tougher and tougher to accomplish.