With the Chicago Cubs signing a pair of starting pitchers and potentially eyeballing even more, it seems as though the Jake Arrieta ship has sailed on the North Side, and now the question is moving on to where he will practice his craft in 2018.
Arrieta, one of the top free agent pitchers on the open market, has drawn interest from several clubs, and it appears that one of the Cubs’ 2017 playoff rivals is at least kicking the tires on him.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, there is at least some level of interest on the part of the Washington Nationals in acquiring Arrieta on the free agent market. Feinsand says that the Nationals have expressed interest in Arrieta, while Janes says that Boras has reached out to the team in an effort to gauge their interest in him.
The Nationals already have a lot of money invested in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, but they could definitely use Arrieta’s services if he ends up on their radar. The Nationals are in a “win now” position because of the uncertain contract future for outfielder Bryce Harper, and with Arrieta’s proven track record as a playoff performer, they could look to him to be the missing piece they need to finally advance in the playoffs and have a show at the World Series.
Former Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez is now the manager with the Nationals, and his familiarity with Arrieta could also prove to be a bonus if the two sides end up talking more extensively.
Meanwhile, the Cubs have signed free agent pitchers Tyler Chatwood, who figures to compete for the fourth or fifth spot in the team’s rotation, and Drew Smyly, who will likely compete for a rotation job when he fully recovers from the Tommy John Surgery he had earlier this year.