According to multiple reports, Arrieta has agreed to a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first reported that contract talks between the two sides had heated up, then reported Sunday afternoon that Arrieta had signed a deal in the city of Brotherly Love.
Arrieta, who went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts with the Cubs last season, has been sitting on the free agent market all offseason long, and with less than three weeks to go before Opening Day, he is likely the best player available.
Other players, including pitcher Lance Lynn and third baseman Mike Moustakas, have had to settle for far lower contracts than they thought they’d be getting this offseason, having signed with the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals, respectively.
The Cubs reportedly had made offers to Arrieta earlier in the offseason, but instead chose to sign free agent hurler Yu Darvish to a six-year pact.
The Cubs also signed starter Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal, and agreed to a contract with starter Drew Smyly after the 2017 campaign, leaving no room for Arrieta.
“Jake did so much wonderful work for the Cubs,” manager Joe Maddon said this weekend. “I want nothing but good things to happen to Jake. I want what’s best for them.”