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Jake Arrieta and the other free agent starters should hurry up and sign

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So say some baseball insiders, anyway.

What’s on your mind, Jake?
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Opening Day for the 2018 major-league season is 25 days from today.

And Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, three of the four top free-agent starters, remain unsigned. (The fourth, Yu Darvish, signed with the Cubs earlier this month.)

Here’s why it might be in those players’ interest to sign soon:

Tom Haudricourt is a Brewers beat writer and generally a reliable source. He doesn’t say who these “baseball people” are, but I would tend to agree with his take. Many teams have already begun to set their season-beginning rotations, and it doesn’t seem as if there’s a lot of buzz out there about any of these pitchers. All we’ve seen is the continued rehash of “Brewers, Phillies, Twins, Nationals and others have expressed interest in/maintained contact with/reached out to” Arrieta, Lynn and Cobb.

But all three still sit home as of now. (And no, Jake isn’t coming back to the Cubs. That ship sailed a long time ago.)

Only one of those top three pitchers (Arrieta) is represented by Scott Boras, so you can’t simply blame Boras for the standoff. It does appear to me that some of these players and their agents have misread this offseason’s market. Teams have moved on, and though we keep hearing about “dialogue” between these free agents and various teams, no offers have been forthcoming. Right now none of those pitchers is making any money at all this year, and you’d think that some contract dollars would be better than no contract dollars.

If Haudricourt is correct, perhaps this week will finally be the time we’ll see some signing action from the remaining free agents. It has been a very strange offseason indeed.

As always, we await developments.