Why New York Yankees should pursue Jake Arrieta

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

As MLB free agency starts to pick up again, one top starting pitcher is still available. Should the New York Yankees go after Jake Arrieta?

The domino effect is officially in play for some the game’s top remaining free agents like Jake Arrieta. The San Diego Padres have signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million deal, the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a six-year deal with starting pitcher Yu Darvish for $126 million and the Boston Red Sox have reportedly inked a five-year deal with slugger J.D Martinez for $110 million. Money is starting to fly around again, but there is still an odd man out.

With Darvish signing with the Cubs, someone who captured a Cy Young Award and helped the team overcome a World Series drought that lasted over 100 years is without a rotation spot to return to. That man is Jake Arrieta. With a resume as polished as Arrieta’s, it’s a head-scratcher as to why not one team has stepped up and offered him a deal, even if it’s not in the range that agent Scott Boras is looking for.

Arrieta’s asking price could be scaring teams away, but one thing that’s for certain is a deal can be done and if the right team comes along, there’s a strong possibility Boras and Arrieta could bite. The right team could just be the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have a juggernaut offense led by All-Stars Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and newly acquired, reigning NL MVP, Giancarlo Stanton that should allow any pitching staff to be productive. However, the addition of Arrieta could easily take the New York Yankees from World Series threat to World Series favorite in a heartbeat.

The Yankees staff led by Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Jordan Montgomery seems to be just fine as is. That rotation was lights out on its way to an epic seven-game duel with the eventual champion Houston Astros. But the addition of Arrieta could be the missing piece that gets this group of hungry Bronx Bombers over the hump.

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The uncertainty of the back-end of the rotation may cause Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to inquire about the former Cy Young winner and 2016 World Series champion. It was reported that Boras was looking to land his client a deal anywhere in the $180-$200 million dollar range over the course of eight years, earning Arrieta $25 million dollars annually. Due to Arrieta’s age (he turns 32 in March), though, a deal exceeding what Yu Darvish received is highly unlikely.

Therefore, if the Yankees can quietly swoop in on Arrieta and offer a deal for two years with a team option for a third at $30 million a year, that may grab the prized free agent’s attention. It’s a win-win for the Yankees and it’s an even bigger win for Arrieta if he has confidence in himself, which a pitcher of his caliber should.

By accepting this deal, Arrieta gets more money annually than he would have received if he signed the long-term contract he was initially looking for and, more importantly, he gives himself the perfect opportunity to stay on the big stage of baseball by playing for the biggest market in sports as a New York Yankee.

By pitching effectively throughout the season and potentially leading the New York Yankees to another World Series title, Arrieta can seek another 3-4 year deal after his contract is up at $25-$30 million a year.

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In the long run, he gets two contracts that equal or exceed eight years and he can possibly make more money annually. If I’m Jake Arrieta, I’d pick up the phone if Brian Cashman comes calling.