Jake Arrieta is one of the hottest names in baseball right now as his free agency gets underway. There was hope in Chicago that the Cubs would be able to re-sign him, but even Joe Maddon has acknowledged that Arrieta is “probably gone.” That is music to opposing NL Central teams’ ears.
Over the past few years, Arrieta has been a huge part of the Cubs’ success. He won the NL Cy Young back in 2015 and has had two solid all-around seasons to back that year up. Now, it appears that he will be taking his talents elsewhere.
According to multiple reports, the Milwaukee Brewers are one team that has shown serious interest in signing Arrieta. If the Brewers were to get Arrieta to sign, it would be a double disappointment for the Cubs. Not only would they be losing one of their star pitchers, they would also be losing him to a team in their own division that they have struggled with in a big way over the past couple years.
Milwaukee finished the 2017 season just out of the playoffs after a hard-fought race down the stretch with the Cubs. They ended up with an 86-76 record, which was just six games behind the Cubs, although they fell apart down the stretch a bit.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 20, 2017
Arrieta may not be the piece that single-handedly powers them into the World Series, but he would certainly make them contenders. Not only would he give them yet another capable ace pitcher, he would also bring World Series experience and veteran leadership. Those are two areas that Milwaukee could certainly use help in.
Last season with the Cubs, Arrieta got off to a bit of a slow start. He was able to rebound later in the season before going down with an injury that sidelined him for quite a few games.
In 2017, Arrieta finished with a 14-10 record to go along with a 3.53 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Back in 2015, Arrieta came through with a historic season, compiling a 22-5 record and a 1.77 ERA.
Needless to say, the Brewers are not the only team that is expected to pursue Arrieta heavily. Teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and plenty more are expected to throw big offers his way. Despite all of the other interest, Milwaukee may very well be the most intriguing team with interest at this point in time.
Looking ahead at the next three to four years, Arrieta would be playing with a talented offense in Milwaukee. They have a lot of young talent all around the diamond and have a solid farm system to make some moves should they choose to go that route.
If the Brewers were able to land Arrieta, it is likely that they would look to make another aggressive move or two. They could try to make another free agency signing, but a trade would be a viable option as well.
All of that being said, it will certainly be interesting to follow all the Arrieta rumors that are sure to come out. He is one of the top free agents on the market and his name will be mentioned quite often over the next couple weeks.
One thing is for sure, which is the fact that watching Arrieta face his former team with the Brewers would be must-watch baseball. Chicago has struggled against Milwaukee and Arrieta would make the NL Central even more intriguing.
Milwaukee may not end up signing Arrieta, but if they are able to, they would be an intriguing contender both next season and long-term.