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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Heyman | Arrieta closing in on deal with Phillies | FanRag Sports

Twitter says it’s a done deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2018 at 05:06 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, jake arrieta, phillies

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   1. Darren Posted: March 11, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5636663)
3, $75MM, according to MLBTR.
   2. JRVJ Posted: March 11, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5636666)
Assuming it's (a) true, and (b) Arrieta passes his physical, it makes sense.

The Phillies were sitting on the most available money this off-season (according to B-Ref, they were at $67.4 MM PRIOR to signing Arrieta, and that's after signing Santana to 3/$60, Hunter to 2/$18 and Neshek to 2/$16.25). It makes sense for the FA market to ultimately need them to go all-in (as opposed to partially-in) to move.

Having said all that, if Arrieta is his 2017 version, it's not that great a deal for the Phillies. They have to be hoping that he is back to his 2014 or 2016 level (obviously 2015 Arrieta would be an insane steal for the Phillies, even if only for one season).
   3. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 11, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5636667)
I wonder if the Cubs would rather have the Arrieta deal or stick with Yu. I can't really decide which one I would want.
   4. Tin Angel Posted: March 11, 2018 at 06:12 PM (#5636675)
It makes sense for the FA market to ultimately need them to go all-in (as opposed to partially-in) to move.


Right, but is now the right time? Signing him to a three year deal seems to at least hint that they think they'll be competitive in that timefrime, which seems...unlikely. Though I guess the Nationals could totally fall apart after this year.
   5. Jason Dean Posted: March 11, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5636677)
Hooray!

I wonder if the Cubs would rather have the Arrieta deal or stick with Yu. I can't really decide which one I would want.


Did you miss the World Series?
   6. Jason Dean Posted: March 11, 2018 at 06:17 PM (#5636678)
which seems...unlikely


Maybe as soon as this season.
   7. spycake Posted: March 11, 2018 at 07:15 PM (#5636697)
and that's after signing Santana to 3/$60, Hunter to 2/$18 and Neshek to 2/$16.25).


Had to check the date of this post -- too many former Twins surnames. :)
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2018 at 07:15 PM (#5636698)
The Phils are an interesting team in an interesting spot. It's easy to see them being quite good soon -- Hernandez, Altherr, Herrera, Williams and Hoskins have all shown some solid-good production (for age) and pitchers like Vazquez, Nola and Eickhoff have too. Franco still has potential, Crawford does too. On the other hand, it's easy to see pitchers imploding, Hernandez being a mirage and not finding enough PT for the OF and making some bad decisions and Franco and Crawford bombing. Also, other than the OF, not a lot of depth.

So seems like an excellent time to take short-term gambles on some FAs at the right price. I'm not sure Santana was the right fit given Hoskins but he's a solid player, the other signings are clear areas of need although, again, maybe not the best fits at the right price. Still, if things break good for the Phils, they could be in the wild card chase as early as this year. If things don't break right, they'd be rebooting in 2-3 years anyway and, if the players perform, they can find trading partners for Arrieta and Santana.

We have the interesting possibility that, if Franco doesn't bust out but everybody else does their job, they might make a big play for Machado.

Hardly guaranteed but they might get ...

11 WAR from the rotation: Arrieta, Nola and Eickhoff 3 each; Velazquez 2; hope the rest aren't horrible ... that would have been t5th in the NL with Milw, a bit ahead of the Cubs.
6 WAR from the relievers: Same as last year, t 4th in NL
20 WAR from the offense: League average but a massive 8-win improvement over last year. Seems more than unlikely, requires Franco crushing, Hoskins crushing, Herrera at the top of his game, maybe Santana benefiting from the league change.

They were 6 wins below pythag last year so that adds up to 84-85 wins. Clearly that's a rosy scenario with that offensive improvement but the pitching improvements just require health and that guys continue to perform at the same levels (Nola and Eickhoff are both at 6 career WAR in 360ish IP). There might be a 1-2% chance at 90 wins.

Good lord -- not only did Mark Leiter's son (Mark) play in the majors last year, he's already 26! I am old.
   9. JRVJ Posted: March 11, 2018 at 07:18 PM (#5636700)
Heyman is disclosing some interesting tidbits about this deal.

(1) The deal is front loaded (30, 25, 20MM);

(2) Arrieta can opt out after year 2;

(3) If Arrieta opts out, then the Phillies can void the opt out by extending him for two extra years (i.e, years 4 and 5);

(4) The value of years 4 and 5 would be $20MM base, plus extra amounts depending on IP during years 1 and 2 and Cy Young finishes.
   10. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 11, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5636705)
Very creative for the Phillies. If he is incredible for the first two years, they can make him stay.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 11, 2018 at 07:39 PM (#5636706)
So it's basically 2/$55 and could turn into something like 5/$125 if he pitches well enough to opt out?
   12. Brian C Posted: March 11, 2018 at 07:44 PM (#5636707)
#9 actually makes this sound like a pretty fair deal for both sides. Arrieta gets big money up front, and then if he makes good he either gets freedom or lots more money. Meanwhile, the Phillies have to pay a premium for two years but have an exit hatch after that if it blows up. Both sides share the upside and downside more or less equally. Won't be surprised if this becomes the basic model for a lot more contracts in the future.
   13. JRVJ Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5636709)
11/12, I sort of see it differently.

If Arrieta pitches like 2015 Arrieta during his first two years with the Phillies, Arrieta is sitting pretty, because he will be guaranteed a large pay out in the FA market OR a large pay out by the Phillies (at least $70, 75MM at a not so tender age).

Not entirely sure why the Phillies did it this way, other than they have money NOW, can spend it NOW, and are using the signing Arrieta as an inducement for future FAs / as a way to turbo charge their rotation (and take some pressure off of their non-Aaron Nola starters).

Phrased differently, if Arrieta 2018 and 2019 proves to be a bust, the Phillies are stuck with him for 3 years (unless Arrieta is so impulsive that he chooses to opt out even after being a bust).
   14. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5636712)
Did you miss the World Series?

As the games Darvish pitched last year in the WS were the only games I've ever seen him pitch, clearly the Cubs made a terrible mistake.

Alternately, I'm not an idiot.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5636713)
I should have said "could turn into something like 5/$125 if he pitches well enough to opt out but the Phillies decide they want to keep him." They certainly could just let him walk and let someone else pay him for ages 34 and beyond even if he's good for them this year and next.

If Arrieta pitches like 2015 Arrieta during his first two years with the Phillies...


Yeah, well, that's not going to happen.

Not entirely sure why the Phillies did it this way...


Maybe because this is what it took to get him to sign without guaranteeing four or five years?

   16. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:17 PM (#5636715)
In all seriousness, it's an interestingly structured deal. I'm not sure how to grade the opt-out voidage piece, but it's better for the team than the standard opt out one. I was pretty sure all things being equal, I'd rather have Darvish than Jake (Jake might be better in year 5, but I'm pretty confident Darvish will be better in years 1 and 2). This deal is better for the Phils than Darvish's for the Cubs, but I don't think this deal was available/offered by the Cubs. Cubs supposedly offered Jake Darivsh's deal, and he declined.
   17. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5636717)
This seems like a smart deal all around. Arrieta can escape if the Phils fall apart, he can opt out or be paid bigly if he's a stud.
If somehow Jake is done and we don't know it yet, it hurts but doesn't cripple the Phils.
And it makes it less than a miracle to make the playoffs this year. A fair bit of good luck, for sure, but less than a miracle.
   18. Jason Dean Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5636718)
Theo sez Darvish is in the best shape of his life, and we're not here to talk about the past. "Now if his mental capabilities match his physical capabilities..."

Theo's pretty smart, I'll give you that.
   19. JRVJ Posted: March 11, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5636721)
Maybe because this is what it took to get him to sign without guaranteeing four or five years?


You did notice that the sentence went on, right?

Yeah, well, that's not going to happen.


Oh, I doubt it too. I'm just mentioning it as a possibility.
   20. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 11, 2018 at 09:18 PM (#5636722)
The fascinating free agent drama continues. Two and a half weeks until Opening Day and only Alex Cobb and
Greg Holland remain as big-name pitchers. I think the Brewers would give Cobb a Lynn deal, but if the
Orioles offer two years, that's probably where he ends up. I thought Lackey, Feldman, and Hellickson
would end up somewhere.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5636741)
Not entirely sure why the Phillies did it this way

Fits in well with my speculation in #8. Phils see how the kids are working out over the next two years. If they kids are developing, they've made other additions, Arrieta is pitching well -- exercise their option and keep going for it. If the kids are flopping and Arrieta is pitching well, let him go (well, trade him at the deadline for what little bit you can get ... interesting to see if the team option goes with him or if that is voided if traded). Either way if Arrieta flops, you're out of it after three years.

Sounds like that if he pitches well (or pitching prices inflate greatly in the next couple of years), he makes as much money as Darvish in one less year (if Phils exercise the option). Alternatively, if he's not so good then doesn't opt out, he'd need to then sign for 3/$51 to break even with the Darvish contract (that he supposedly turned down). Or he's good but Phils don't want to keep him so he opts out after two years, he needs 4/$71 to break even (which shouldn't be a big problem if he pitches that well).

Interesting question as to how badly would he need to pitch in 2018-19 to make that 1/$20 option more attractive than whatever multi-year deal he might get on the FA market. I suppose that $20 option is, give or take, about where the QO might be after 2019 (if there are QOs).

Even if I was a man with the balls to turn down 6/$126 M (that is WAY past my risk aversion point), I'd much rather have 6/$126. A guarantee of $51 M is a lot of money to walk away from and his best-case scenario is doing well enough over the first 2 years that the Phils decide to keep him for 5, then doing well enough over those following three years that he's able to sign for good money at age 37. Lackey did get 2/$32 for his age 37-38 seasons which, with inflation by 2023 might be 2/$40 ... so it's not impossible that he'll beat that Darvish contract. But risking $51 for a shot at winning $40 is not a great bet in my book. If I did the math right, the break-even point is about 57% chance of getting that 2/$40 contract and there's no way it's close to that.

Which leads me to speculate that either Jake expected better than this when he turned down the Cubs or the Cubs offered the "equivalent" as in 5/$105 for Jake who is a year older, or some combo thereof. Or maybe those team option years are much more expensive.

EDIT: OK, I didn't allow for the break-even option where he's good for the first two, Phils exercise their option, then he flops. He breaks even with Darvish in that scenario. If his shot at ending up with 5/$125 is about 50% then the break-even point is probably more like 30% chance he excels.
   22. tshipman Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:29 AM (#5636746)
I'm not sure how to grade the opt-out voidage piece, but it's better for the team than the standard opt out one.


Is it though?

It's better in principle, but I don't think it's better in practice. You're almost always better off letting the guy leave after the opt-out. This might get you to persuade yourself to keep him, despite that not being a good idea.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2018 at 03:32 AM (#5636747)
This might get you to persuade yourself to keep him, despite that not being a good idea.

Just like you might persuade yourself to pursue him in FA after an opt-out in a regular scenario ... or offer the extra 1,2,3 years it takes to get him to not exercise the opt-out. Here the Phils get him at a set price. Even if they decide they'd want him back at 3/$69, 3/$75 might be attractive rather than worrying about other bidders.

These seem to have generally been priced pretty well. We've seen Tanaka accept the option (and Heyward surely will and there are probably others), we've seen a few parlay it into an extra year (Upton, CC at least), we've seen a few where the teams didn't really pursue (JD Drew, Greinke) ... and the ARod mess.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5636752)
You're almost always better off letting the guy leave after the opt-out. This might get you to persuade yourself to keep him, despite that not being a good idea.


But this only adds 2 years. The conventional wisdom on "almost always better off letting the guy leave" comes from the endless ARod and Sabathia style contracts.

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