The previous week in MLB was about a club in the National League signing an ace, a young player agrees to an extension and a team in American League adds a quality starting pitcher.
Philadelphia Phillies Sign Starting Pitcher Jake Arrieta to Three-Year Deal Worth $75 Million
The Philadelphia Phillies have added an ace to their rotation. The club signed free-agent starter Jake Arrieta to a three-year, $75 million contract, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Jake Arrieta gets $75 million over 3 years
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 11, 2018
Arrieta will make $30 million in 2018, $25 million in 2019, and $20 million in 2020, but there is an opt-out clause after year two. The deal could be five years worth between $125 million to $135 million, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Arrieta salaries are 30M, 25M and 20M. Can opt out after two. Deal could go to 5 years and be worth 125M to 135M. #phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 11, 2018
phillies can void the arrieta opt out by triggering a 2-year extension that starts at 20M per year, rises to 25M based on games started in first 2 years, or up to 30M based on cy young finishes. 135M possible. #phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 11, 2018
Arrieta was one of the top starters available when free agency started, and it was expected he would get a massive deal.
The right-hander still received a solid deal, and it also benefits his new club as well. Arrieta posted a 3.53 ERA in 168.1 innings (30 starts) with 163 strikeouts, 23 home runs allowed and a 1.21 WHIP with Chicago Cubs in 2017.
Those aren’t horrible numbers but compared to when he won the NL Cy Young in 2015 with a 1.77 ERA (33 starts), 236 strikeouts, 10 homers surrendered and a 0.86 WHIP.
There are some contributing factors to the decreased production such as a dip in fastball velocity and spending time on the disabled list.
The Phillies have a phenomenal pitcher in Arrieta they can pair with Aaron Nola at the top of the rotation.
The $75 million over three years might seem to be a lot of money to spend on someone like Arrieta, but the Phillies already had a low payroll.
The other aspect of this deal that’s important is the Phillies were only interested in signing Arrieta to a short-term contract. They didn’t want to be stuck paying Arrieta a high salary for an extended period, considering he just turned 32 earlier in the month.
The Washington Nationals are still the team to beat in the NL East, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Phillies challenge for an NL Wild Card spot.
St. Louis Cardinals Sign Shortstop Paul DeJong to Six-Year Extension
The St. Louis Cardinals announced earlier last week they agreed to a six-year, $26 million contract extension with shortstop Paul DeJong, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. It’s the largest deal for any player with less than one year of service.
Shortstop Paul DeJong will receive $26 million over six years in his new contract extension with the #STLCards. It’s largest deal for any player with less than one-year service. The news of deal being finalized first reported by @dgoold
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 5, 2018
The deal also includes two club options, which can raise the value of the contract to $51.5 million. There is a $12.5 million option for 2023 and a $15 million for 2024, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
DeJong was a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals last season as he was called up in late May. He compiled a .285 batting average and .857 OPS with 26 doubles, 25 home runs, 65 RBIs, 55 runs scored and a 121 OPS+ in 108 games.
He finished second behind Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
It’s been an exciting journey for DeJong as he went undrafted in high school, walked on at Illinois State and nearly went to med school instead of playing professional baseball, per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.
Paul DeJong went undrafted in high school, walked on at Illinois State and nearly went to med school instead of playing pro ball. He just got a $26M contract extension from the Cardinals. The lesson, as always: Never become a doctor.
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) March 5, 2018
This is an excellent deal for the Cardinals as it locks up a key player for their franchise over the next several years.
Minnesota Twins Ink Starter Lance Lynn to One-Year, $12 Million Contract
The Minnesota Twins have bolstered their starting rotation by signing free-agent starting pitcher Lance Lynn. It’s a one-year contract worth $12 million, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 10, 2018
This is an excellent move by the Twins as they added a quality pitcher to their starting rotation and didn’t have to break the bank.
The right-hander missed all of 2016 but had a solid season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017. He compiled a 3.43 ERA in 186.1 innings (33 starts) with 153 strikeouts, 78 walks, and a 1.22 WHIP.
The Twins acquired starter Jake Odorizzi earlier in the offseason from the Tampa Bay Rays as the team was trying to upgrade their pitching.
Lynn, Odorizzi and Jose Berrios form a stable trio of arms at the top of the starting rotation for the Twins.