CLEARWATER, Fla. (CBS/AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies made their boldest move yet.
The Phillies announced Monday they have signed former Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.
“This is an exciting day for the Phillies organization and our fans,” said Phillies general manager Matt Klentak. “Jake is among the best pitchers in baseball and his list of accomplishments is exceptional. He is an elite competitor, a tireless worker and a winner, and I am confident that he will be a great addition to our talented young team and the city of Philadelphia.”
The contract is reportedly for $75 million over three years.
The 32-year-old righty was among several top free agents who didn’t get a deal for six or seven years in a changing offseason market. The Phillies, who have plenty of money to spend, waited until the price was right for them.
Arrieta won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Chicago Cubs and helped them win the World Series the next season. He was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA last year.
Arrieta was 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in five seasons in Chicago after starting his career in Baltimore. He’ll join Aaron Nola atop the Phillies’ rotation on a team that finished last in the NL East.
The Phillies haven’t had a winning season since 2011, but now have added veteran slugger Carlos Santana, Arrieta and quality relievers to a young nucleus that could show considerable improvement over last season’s 66-96 mark.
New manager Gabe Kapler’s motto throughout spring training has been: “Be Bold.” Players and coaches have been wearing T-shirts with those words on them and they’ve been using the phrase often in interviews.
Signing Arrieta is a message that management is ready to move past the rebuilding process.
The Phillies already have a lineup that has potential to be dynamic and a bullpen that could be formidable. Now they’ve added a proven No. 1 starter to a slew of young arms in the rotation.
Arrieta has started at least 30 games in three straight seasons, but he’s only pitched more than 200 innings once — 229 in 2015.
Arrieta had a 4.67 ERA in first 16 starts last season, but finished strong, going 7-4 with a 2.26 ERA in his final 14 outings.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)