News item: The Minnesota Twins acquire Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Odorizzi fills the spot in the Twins’ rotation they were looking to fill, in my view; Minnesota also signed Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez’ contract calls for $2.5 million this year (possibly more, with incentives) and Odorizzi is scheduled to make $6.3 million this year.
While the Twins could probably still afford to add Jake Arrieta to their rotation financially, it would appear to me that this probably closes the door on Jake pitching in Minnesota.
Based on Phillies GM Andy MacPhail’s statements in this article, it doesn’t appear likely that the Phillies are going to sign Jake either, even though they could probably afford him. Those of you who remember MacPhail’s time as Cubs GM know that he was notoriously cheap in Chicago and despite the Phillies’ signing of Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million deal, that would appear to be the extent of any big-money signings in Philadelphia.
So what landing spots remain for Jake?
The Brewers would seem to be the most logical place for Arrieta. Their rotation lacks depth, especially with Jimmy Nelson probably out till almost midseason. But then there’s this:
Despite all the speculation, doesn't sound like #Brewers are close to signing FA pitcher or trading for pitcher. In fact, GM David Stearns just told me, "At this point, I anticipate going (to camp) with our current group."— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 3, 2018
#Brewers GM David Stearns reiterated that some reports of #Brewers interest in pitching market have been exaggerated. Said he will keep open mind but is comfortable with arms he has on hand.— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 15, 2018
It could just be posturing, but it seems like the Brewers aren’t going to sign Jake.
This article from Jeff Passan last month contained this interesting passage:
Recently, one of the best free agents available this offseason met with a friend, and he admitted something shocking: He was preparing to sit out until the middle of the season. The market for his services this winter was so thin, the offers so incompatible with his production, that he worried he was going to need an external force to compel teams to pay him what his numbers say he’s worth. Maybe it would take a playoff race.
Rumor had it that the player mentioned in Passan’s article was Jake Arrieta; nothing was ever proven along those lines, but if it were Jake — seriously, what is he thinking? To sit out half a season, what’s the point? Sure, he could stay in shape, but in game shape? To suddenly enter a playoff race without having pitched since last fall? That wouldn’t seem optimal, to me, anyway.
Maybe this player isn’t Jake Arrieta, but I think the market for Jake has almost completely dried up. He appears to have miscalculated his value and the interest in him; whether that’s simply the way he feels about his own abilities or whether he got bad advice from Scott Boras, we’ll likely never know. And if you think he’s going to pull a Dexter Fowler and suddenly show up at Cubs camp... I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed.
When Eric Hosmer signed his deal with the Padres late Saturday, it marked the first major deal for a Boras client this offseason. Maybe that helps break the logjam.
In any case, spring training games begin this Friday. You’d think players would want to get signed and in camps. Wherever Jake winds up, I wish him well (except when pitching against the Cubs). As always, we await developments.