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Phillies, Jake Arrieta agree to deal

Phillies, Jake Arrieta agree to deal

Two people familiar with the decision tell The Associated Press that free-agent ace Jake Arrieta and the Phillies have agreed to a three-year deal. The report meshes with what USA Today's Bob Nightengale said earlier on Sunday, which is that Arrieta is expected to sign a contract this week and the Phillies are considered the favorite. The deal is pending a physical, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Phillies made their boldest move yet.

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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. He's made 30 starts in each of the last three seasons and won the National League Cy Young Award in 2015 when he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 33 starts. He has been rumored to have been in discussions with the Phillies since February, after the Cubs chose to sign Yu Darvish instead of Arrieta. The right-hander has the option to opt-out after the 2019 season, but the contract also allows the Phillies to void that potential opt-out clause in the form of a two-year extension for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Expectations were already high for Philadelphia's rotation thanks to having pitchers like Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez, but if the team were able to add Arrieta into the mix over the next couple of days, the expectations for the unit would hit a whole new level heading into Opening Day.

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.


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