Sunday, March 11, 2018

How on Earth did the Phillies Land Jake Arrieta?

It was a possibility, but it wasn't going to happen...was it?

Jake Arrieta was definitely going to sign with someone. Nobody could have predicted it would be this late...or with a team that wasn't Milwaukee...or with a team that WAS the Philadelphia Phillies. I don't think anyone would call that, because nobody could have considered the Phillies' desire to compete.

And yet...this is what has happened. The Phils have wrapped up a Cy-Young-winning pitcher for three years, and have plugged him into a rotation that includes Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and an improving Vince Velasquez. Arrieta and Nola specifically are going to be dangerous if both of them can have on-years. We've seen them both in good form (Arrieta's 2016, Nola's 2017), and in not-so-good form (Arrieta's 2017, Nola's 2016). Hopefully both can succeed this year, because that would be pretty great if they did.

The Phils are also competing with a lineup made up of a SMORGASBORD of young talent. Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, Aaron Altherr. That's, like, most of the lineup, and all of them are looking to be fantastic this year. Hell, Kingery might even try and rob Maikel Franco of a starting job. With a generally open NL East this year, and with two other teams, the Braves and Mets, trying to top Washington as well, it will be hard for the Phillies to TRULY stand out, but this move proves that they might have a chance to get back to where they left off in 2011.

Beyond thrilled with the move. Hope Arrieta delivers.

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