The Philadelphia Phillies have checked in on Manny Machado, brought back Pat Neshek and are listening to offers on Cesar Hernandez. One area of need for the team though is a veteran starter. The Phils have a good crop of young arms in their rotation, but in past years, veterans have been brought in to stabilize the rotation with guys like Jeremy Hellickson, Charlie Morton and Clay Buchholz, even though he didn't end up pitching much at all.
While we haven't heard too much about who the Phillies might be targeting in terms of starting pitching, one name surfaced on Tuesday morning in Jake Arrieta. The 31-year-old right-hander has pitched for the Cubs for four plus seasons, but he started his big league career with the Orioles, an organization that both Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail have worked in before.
Phillies are considering Jake Arrieta. Not perfect match since they are a year from possible contention but many of their execs know him well from when they were with the Orioles.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
Arrieta is two seasons removed from a Cy Young campiagn that saw him go 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 33 regular season starts, helping lead the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series since 1908. He's a career 5-3 pitcher in the postseason, sporting a 3.08 ERA in nine starts. This past season with the Cubs, Arrieta posted a 3.53 ERA, his worst ERA since 2013, but it still was better than most Phillies starters.
There's no doubting a guy like Arrieta would make the Phillies better, but the timing just doesn't seem right. Philadelphia is still at least a couple of years away from contending for a postseason spot, so throwing money at a guy like Arrieta now could potentially hinder them from signing a Machado or Bryce Harper next summer.