Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
Free-agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta’s long wait to find a new team this offseason could be nearing an end.
Per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, talks for Arrieta are “heating up” with the Philadelphia Phillies viewed as the favorites to sign the 2015 National League Cy Young winner.
One of the marquee free agents in this year’s class, Arrieta has had a surprisingly long offseason. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported in December that Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, was seeking a deal in the $200 million range for his client.
The Phillies have been connected to Arrieta going back to the winter meetings. They already made one big splash this offseason, signing first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year contract.
Arrieta has been one of MLB’s best pitchers since 2015. He ranks third among all NL starters with 13.5 FanGraphs wins above replacement over the past three seasons, trailing only Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. His 2.71 ERA is only behind Kershaw’s 2.07 mark during that span.