The San Diego Padres surprised folks by signing Eric Hosmer, who was arguably the top position player on the market. And now word is they have at least been talking internally about Jake Arrieta.
It seems like a long shot. But could they make a play for Arrieta?
There are probably several teams looking into Arrieta (as well as Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn) at this point. But it is believed that much of this interest could be filed under this title: bottom fishing.
Padres sources suggest they are checking in with a number of star free agents remaining periodically in case there’s a deal that makes sense but ultimately expect to go with the young pitchers they currently have in camp.
It isn’t known what the Padres may have suggested for Arrieta, if anything, but it’s possible they could be looking for a bargain; that can’t be a surprise at this juncture since several teams are surely wondering whether a great player could be had for something well beneath what he originally sought.
However, word around Arrieta has been that he isn’t anxious to sign what he considered an under-market deal, and also that he has the fortitude to wait things out. The Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles are teams that seem most interested in adding a starting pitcher, but a former Cy Young winner such as Arrieta could help just about any team.
The Washington Nationals have been seen as a possible landing spot but there’s been no evidence of any serious talk yet, and those stories were mostly of the speculative variety, with the knowledge that Nats GM Mike Rizzo likes Arrieta and the Nats have done a lot of deals with Arrieta’s agent Scott Boras.
Arrieta, who just turned 32 on Tuesday, has three top-10 Cy Young finishes in the last four years, including his win in 2015. Even in a “down year” last season for the Cubs, he posted a 3.53 ERA with 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings en route to helping the Cubs to their third straight NLCS appearance.