Where Jake Arrieta winds up this offseason continues to be a mystery. According to MLB.com, the San Diego Padres appear to be one team that could land the former Cy Young pitcher.
Arrieta headlines a list of top stars still looking for a place to land this coming season. Arrieta may be the most attractive pitcher left on the free agent market. The Padres could use his arm on a staff that has to contend with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies in the National League West.
Per MLB.com, “After finishing with baseball’s seventh-worst record in 2017, the Padres set a franchise record by signing free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer to a $144 million contract. Now they may be setting their eyes on the top pitcher on the market: Arrieta.
“According to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Padres have been talking internally about signing the former NL Cy Young Award winner. San Diego had not previously been linked to the right-hander, who has mainly been connected to the Phillies, Brewers, Nationals and Cubs.”
There had been some thought Arrieta could have returned to Chicago and play for the Cubs, but the signing of Yu Darvish all but shut the door on a possible reunion.
The Orioles selected the 32-yearold right-hander in the 2007 MLB draft, and he debuted for the Orioles in 2010. The Orioles traded Arrieta to the Cubs in 2013. In 2015, Arrieta won the Cy Young Award, was the MLB wins leader, pitched a no-hitter, and set a major league record at 0.75 earned run average (ERA) for the lowest second-half ERA. Arrieta threw his second no-hitter in 2016.
It has also been reported the Padres also have their eye on both Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, who are still free agents as well.
“The Padres have a young, unproven rotation that certainly could benefit from adding a veteran arm,” MLB.com reports. “Clayton Richard and Bryan Mitchell have essentially locked down spots, but there are eight pitchers competing for the last three spots.”
Arrieta would immediately slot as their ace, even after coming off a “down season” with a 3.53 ERA in 2017. He has finished in the top 10 in NL Cy Young Award finishes in the past four seasons for the Cubs.