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Monday, March 12, 2018

Jake Arrieta, Phillies agree to deal | MLB.com

That’s a pretty good contract for a guy who is trending in the wrong direction.

The Phillies made a remarkably bold move Sunday, particularly for a team that still considered itself building for the future. Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies and Jake Arrieta have agreed in principle to a multi-year contract, pending a physical. MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports it’s a three-year contract worth $75 million—Arrieta will make $30 million in the first year, $25 million in the second and $20 million in the third—and that Arrieta can opt out of the contract after 2019.

The Phillies can void that opt out, though, if they exercise a two-year extension that starts at $20 million per season, according to Morosi, but can reach as much as $30 million per season based on games started and Cy Young Award finishes.

In that case, the contract would be worth as much as $135 million over five seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2018 at 08:27 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, jake arrieta, phillies

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   1. villageidiom Posted: March 12, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5636792)
Scenario testing:

1
Arrieta wants to opt out, Phillies prevent it
OR Arrieta doesn't want to opt out, and Phillies opt to extend anyway
- Contract becomes 5 years $115-135m
- Phillies would likely only extend if he's healthy, which would raise it to $120m.
- Assume Arrieta would opt out if healthy and top-level productive, which is what it would take to push this to $135m.
- If the latter, then $27m/yr is not a bad price to pay for it.
- If the former, then $24m/yr is a rich price to pay for just getting a healthy starter. But that ignores sunk cost of $75m. Extension would be $45m for 2 years.
- These scenarios depend on belief that Arrieta will be great if he's healthy.

2
Arrieta wants to opt out
Phillies let him
- Contract becomes 2 years $55m
- If he's opting out he thinks he's worth considerably more than $20-$22.5m per year, or thinks he can get a long-term deal done. (He's only guaranteed 1 year if he stays.)
- If Phillies let him, they think he's worth considerably less than that.
- Odds of this scenario happening must be extremely low, right?

3
Arrieta doesn't want to opt out
Phillies don't extend
- Contract becomes 3 years, $75m
- This is the doomsday scenario for the Phillies. Arrieta gets hurt or is unproductive, and staying one more year is his best option, but the Phillies don't want to extend. By the time the opt-out is possible they're only on the hook for one more year. If your doomsday scenario for a top FA signing is you wasted this kind of money on a 3-year deal, that's actually not that bad. (Says the guy whose team signed Pablo Sandoval and Carl Crawford.)

To me the opt out is basically meaningless. It's really a $75m/3y contract with club option for a $45-60m/2y extension.
   2. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 12, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5636796)
I'm not entirely certain whether I wish he had gone to Milwaukee or not.

The last ex-Cub to sign with Milwaukee didn't work out so well.

Trending in the wrong direction or not, he's still solid - and occasionally, a lot better. But yeah - he's lost command of that slider and teams have figured out how to look for it and stop chasing it. I wish him well, but I have a feeling this deal isn't going to work out so well.

Still, I agree with Walt from the other thread - I think the Phillies are a lot more interesting than people give them credit and while the Nats are still the kings the east, who knows what next year looks like... especially if Harper skips town. 2018 isn't their year, but I could see them being a fashionable darkhorse as soon as 2019.
   3. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 12, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5636800)
I have a strong feeling that in the Phillies' plans they were hoping to have much of the rotation established at this point and sign free agent bats for leadership and stability. Instead they have the entire lineup set now, for better or worse, plus an extra outfielder and an extra infielder, while the rotation still has several placeholders. So this became the best option. It's hard to find any pitcher who you can count on for leadership and stability, but Arrieta may be one.
   4. JRVJ Posted: March 12, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5636874)
Trending in the wrong direction or not, he's still solid - and occasionally, a lot better


Including the post-season, Arrieta pitched 248.2 innings in 2015 and 219.2 innings in 2016 (he "only" pitched 179 innings in 2017).

There's a reasonable chance that he will bounce back in 2018, if only because he will be better rested.
   5. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5636884)

There's a reasonable chance that he will bounce back in 2018, if only because he will be better rested.


Pardon me if this is snark or in jest but pitching less is a red flag not a sign of hope.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5636896)
There's a reasonable chance that he will bounce back in 2018, if only because he will be better rested.

Do bodies even work that way? Tendons and ligaments? Does taking it easy (setting aside the injury) in August of 2017 make you "fresher" in March of 2018? My body doesn't seem to work that way, but then again I'm not a pitcher.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: March 12, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5636924)
Do bodies even work that way? Tendons and ligaments? Does taking it easy (setting aside the injury) in August of 2017 make you "fresher" in March of 2018? My body doesn't seem to work that way, but then again I'm not a pitcher.


It seemed to be the case for Mark Buehrle. The only time he wasn't Mark Buerhle between 2001 and when he retired was after he logged a career-high in innings by pitching into late October of 2005.

I think rest is generally good for pitchers. I'm not sure rest as a result of arm/shoulder/back injuries would be.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 12, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5636925)
Seems like more than Arrieta's worth at this point in his career, but Philly needs SP and has money to burn, so there are certainly worse ideas.
   9. JRVJ Posted: March 12, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5636951)
5/6, going deep into the post-season (which Arrieta did in 2015 & 2016) seems to take a toll on most pitchers next season.

Surely such erudite primates such as yourselves know this, right?
   10. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5636973)
5/6, going deep into the post-season (which Arrieta did in 2015 & 2016) seems to take a toll on most pitchers next season.

Surely such erudite primates such as yourselves know this, right?


Of course I've heard it stated but don't recall seeing a conclusive treatment of the issue. Seems like the sort of armchair diagnosis that hasn't really been studied, or is an influential ballplayer myth (like the 100-pitch count) that there isn't really much evidence behind.

But I'm all ears.
   11. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 12, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5636980)
Do bodies even work that way? Tendons and ligaments? Does taking it easy (setting aside the injury) in August of 2017 make you "fresher" in March of 2018? My body doesn't seem to work that way, but then again I'm not a pitcher.

It's complicated and there are no hard and fast rules, but some general trends. Ideally, tendons and ligaments as well as bones and muscles need a balance between stress and rest. As a non-athlete, you probably have a lot more than enough rest, so more resting will not help you. For a pitcher, who puts lots of stress on some parts of the body, it can be different. Stress leads to micro injuries, that need time to heal. During a season, the rest time might not be enough and so these micro injuries can add up over time, requiring a longer period of rest to fully heal. Such a healing process can take months, so yes: It is possible that the combination of more stress and a shorter rest period of a deep offseason run carries over to the next season. But this varies from individual to individual, so there is no guarantee.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5636989)
Thanks! That does make sense.
   13. philphan Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5636992)
I have been hoping for something like this all through the off season, so "Yay!" I guess. The Phils desperately needed an experienced starting pitcher to serve as nominal ace, if only to lessen the pressure on Aaron Nola. Arrieta's nunbers all fell off last season, with HRs up, runs allowed up, innings down, etc. Hoping that part of the innings decline was just due to Maddon's aggressive bullpen usage, but perhaps a Cubs expert here could clarify. It is a gamble, but I for one am so desperate for the Phillies to get back to being a respectable club that I am willing to take it. (It's only money, and not even mine!)

Now if Jake Thompson could only put it together, then we're talking! The NL second wild card could be in reach this season, if things break right.
   14. JRVJ Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5636993)
11, Thank you.

I think that a hard and fast rule would be that nobody is HURT from a longer off-season (obviously, provided that you don't hurt your ankle playing basketball ala Aaron Boone), but some pitchers (and players) do get hurt from shorter off-seasons.

Really, there's some interesting studies out there about the need for rest, sleep, etc (the NBA is pretty trailblazing here; Super Rugby, which is played in 4 continents, is also doing some remarkable work on this). Going all out, all the time does not seem to ensure the best performance.
   15. JRVJ Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5637004)
It's only money, and not even mine!)


It's not even that much money, all things being equal (if you go by AAV and BRef's contract calculations, the Phils are still under $95MM for 2018. And they have peanuts committed after 2020, w/ only Odubel Herrera on the books).
   16. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5637014)
Hoping that part of the innings decline was just due to Maddon's aggressive bullpen usage, but perhaps a Cubs expert here could clarify.

Not really. He ran up a lot of higher pitch counts last year, partly due to the increased walk rate*, but he also struggled finishing guys off. I can remember a lot of 2 strike counts where he'd end up throwing a bunch of extra pitches to get the guy out. In prior years, a 2 strike count usually led to the wipeout slider strikeout. He just would end up working so hard, he would be running out of gas much earlier in games and it was clear he had to be pulled.

I wish the best for him. He's also fun to watch hit.

*He walk rate in 2017 was actually lower than 2016, but in a way Arrieta had 2 seasons in 2016. From about the midpoint in 2015 until halfway through 2016, he was dominant. That 2nd half in 2016 was much worse. So when I talk about a worse walk rate, I really am thinking pre-first half 2016 then everything since.
   17. Karl from NY Posted: March 12, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5637028)
There's also a selection bias and regression factor, right? A pitcher who made it deep into October probably played above his true talent and can expect to regress.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: March 12, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5637034)
There's also a selection bias and regression factor, right? A pitcher who made it deep into October probably played above his true talent and can expect to regress.


An individual pitcher? I guess that might be a small factor, but deep October team runs really don't correlate that strongly with individual overperformance by a pitcher, I wouldn't think.
   19. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 12, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5637068)
Is there a good source for pitches thrown? I found these Arrieta numbers on teamrankings.com, I'm not entirely sure if it includes playoffs:

2017: 2944
2016: 3504
2015: 3742

   20. RJ in TO Posted: March 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5637076)
Is there a good source for pitches thrown? I found these Arrieta numbers on teamrankings.com, I'm not entirely sure if it includes playoffs:

2017: 2944
2016: 3504
2015: 3742


B-R has them on the game logs pages, sourced as being from BrooksBaseball.com. I have no idea where Brooks Baseball gets their data from.

B-R has Arrieta at
2017: 2742 + 201 = 2943
2016: 3124 + 380 = 3504
2015: 3438 + 304 = 3742
For the above, the second number is the playoff totals.

I also have no idea why there's apparently a slight discrepancy between sources for the 2017 season.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5637082)
b-r has pitches for the last several years at least.

It may be only temporary but all SP have had innings reduced with the advent of the 8th reliever. If anything, it seems that top starters have had a bigger reduction than lower-level ones (this is hard to specify). But quick and dirty, regular season:

In 2015, 28 pitchers made it to 200 innings, another 28 made it to 180. (Arrieta #3)

In 2016, 15 pitchers made it to 200 innings, another 31 made it to 180. (Arrieta #22)

In 2017, 15 pitchers made it to 200 innings, only another 21 made it to 180. (Arrieta #48)

Obviously moving down the rankings isn't a great sign for Arrieta but he'd have been expected to lose innings over these years regardless. Over the last 3 seasons, only 6 guys have made it to 600 (Scherzer, Sale, Kluber, Shark, Archer, Quintana). Arrieta is 8th, Lester 9th.

Not that the Cubs had the choice this offseason but they owe Lester 3/$75. His innings have gone 205 (+14), 203 (+36), 181 (+14) and his ERA+ 114, 171, 100. We'd better hope there's something to this notion of a long postseason hangover. Arrieta certainly looks like the better gamble at (roughly) the same price.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5637089)
Quantity and quality ... the #60 pitcher by IP then #60 by WAR (min 20 starts) ... i.e. not the same pitcher for both numbers

2015 177 IP, 2.1 WAR
2016 174 IP, 2.0 WAR
2017 160 IP, 1.9 WAR

Might just be a fluke of course but so far, of the 65-70 innings covered by the #8 relief slot, looks like 30-35 innings have come off the top 2 starters.
   23. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5637134)
Let's not get too carried away about "deep" October runs. Jake is a pitcher not the shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors.

In 2015 he had 3 more starts because of the playoffs. In 2016 he had 4 and in 2017 he had 2. In 2015 he lost two weeks of extra rest by pitching in the playoffs. In 2016 his season did end 4 weeks later that usual.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5637144)
I suspect it's more a matter of extra strain. Pitchers are kinda conditioned to last 200-210 innings for a season and are probably pretty worn out by the time the season ends. Those extra 2-4 starts might take a pretty deep toll. (Or not, who knows, it's pitcher "health.") Also his career high prior to 2015 was 157 innings, it's at least mildly surprising he didn't seriously break over the last couple of years. I'd guess that's promising for the future but maybe not.

Maddon and the schedule eased up a bit in late 2016 -- not enough to really matter but slightly shorter outings and less likely to push to 105+ pitches. Schedule cooperated too and down the stretch he got 6, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 7, 5, 5 and 4 days rest followed by 11 days rest before his first playoff start.

Similar with Lester with 6, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 6, 4, 5, 4, 5 then 5. He had some longer outings though including a pointless 111 pitches on Oct 1 (one of those 5-inning Lester specials we occasionally get).
   25. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 13, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5637242)
Not that the Cubs had the choice this offseason but they owe Lester 3/$75. His innings have gone 205 (+14), 203 (+36), 181 (+14) and his ERA+ 114, 171, 100. We'd better hope there's something to this notion of a long postseason hangover. Arrieta certainly looks like the better gamble at (roughly) the same price.


Well, Lester is also 2 years older --- but he's also got a longer track record of success.

IDK, if I could swap Lester and Arrieta would I? I don't think so.

They both need a bounceback. Lester's K rate did hold steady during what was certainly a disappointing season.

I think I'd take Lester if only because Jake's fall from the mountaintop has been clearly due to problems with his slider (or "slutter", if you want to be precise). While it seems to be more of a phenomenon with relievers, history is just replete with guys whose "out pitch" is a wipeout slider (or slideresue prototype) - and once they lose it, they never really seem to get it back. Jake's got enough of an arsenal - and he can still make that thing dive where he wants it on occasion - that I don't expect him to go completely Marmol...

But - if I had to place a bet on which pitcher is gonna get CYA votes again? I think I'd bet on Lester.
   26. Darren Posted: March 13, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5637264)
This likely puts to rest the thought that *maybe* David Price opts out. He'll be 33 after this season, a year older than Arrieta is now. There doesn't look like there's a market out there for anything close to the 4/$124MM he'll have coming.
   27. JRVJ Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5637284)
In 2016 his season did end 4 weeks later that usual.


Exactly.

He lost 4 weeks of rest which may have impacted his most recent season (2017).

Since he is going to start a little bit later this year (I haven't checked, but I have to believe Arrieta will not be ready for opening day), he presumably will have had a lot more rest this off-season versus his most recent 3 off-seasons.

Will that translate into better performance? Who knows, but it makes sense to at least keep the possibility in mind.
   28. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5637289)
Since he is going to start a little bit later this year (I haven't checked, but I have to believe Arrieta will not be ready for opening day), he presumably will have had a lot more rest this off-season versus his most recent 3 off-seasons.

Cubs finished around the same time in 2015 and 2017 (about 1.5 weeks earlier than 2016), so his rest going into this year is the same as going into 2016, less whatever he didn't or didn't do training on his own during the ST time he missed. He had plenty of rest after 2014 though.
   29. JRVJ Posted: March 13, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5637312)
He had plenty of rest after 2014 though.


Exactly. If his being well rested going into 2015 was one of the reasons why he had such as strong season that year, the Phillies could reap the benefits of Arrieta being well rested (YMMV, but I doubt that what Arrieta did on his own is comparable to actual ST. I truly doubt that Boras would have risked Arrieta's arm by too much work on the side).
   30. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2018 at 06:01 PM (#5637527)
Don't forget that in the 2015 offseason he had to keep working hard to make sure he was ready for the SI "body" issue, probably got no real rest at all. :-)
   31. aberg Posted: March 13, 2018 at 07:05 PM (#5637543)
It may be only temporary but all SP have had innings reduced with the advent of the 8th reliever. If anything, it seems that top starters have had a bigger reduction than lower-level ones (this is hard to specify). But quick and dirty, regular season:


Another factor closely related to the 8th RP is the "times through the lineup" strategy. Anecdotally, it seems like more data-driven teams have started to shorten their leashes the third time through the lineup. It might only matter for an out or two in a lot of starts, but I suspect that it adds up in the IP aggregate.
   32. Jason Dean Posted: March 13, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5637545)
I deeply respect Lester as a gamer. Not sure there are many left I'd give that label.
   33. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5637546)
Don't forget that in the 2015 offseason he had to keep working hard to make sure he was ready for the SI "body" issue, probably got no real rest at all. :-)

It's mentioned as a joke but Jake and pretty much all athletes don't really have a "rest" that heals the body. They continue their training in the offseason and generally they work even harder during the offseason because they don't have to worry about game time performance.

My cousin owns a crossfit gym and those nutsoids occasionally have to walk away from the gym for months and months to let their body heal. Their workout destroys their bodies.
   34. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: March 13, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5637554)
Hoping that part of the innings decline was just due to Maddon's aggressive bullpen usage, but perhaps a Cubs expert here could clarify.

Arrieta ran out of steam in the 2015 NLDS & NLCS, so Maddon decided to rest him more during the season so he'd hold up longer in October.

However, Arrieta was also less effective. He had a stretch of 20ish regular season quality starts in 2015-16 .... and then routinely started scuffling through a bunch of 100-pitch, 5 IP outings. Not always, of course. But a lot of times he'd throw 20 pitches per inning and would have to leave early as a result.

Arrieta by half-season:
2nd half, 2015: BEST PITCHER EVER
1st half, 2016: Great picher
2nd half, 2016: Good pitcher
1st half, 2017: Eh. He's just a guy.
2nd half, 2017: Great pitcher for 2 months, then on the DL (leg injury, so not a lasting worry)
   35. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5637609)
Another factor closely related to the 8th RP is the "times through the lineup" strategy. Anecdotally, it seems like more data-driven teams have started to shorten their leashes the third time through the lineup. It might only matter for an out or two in a lot of starts, but I suspect that it adds up in the IP aggregate.

Sure but that's mostly the same thing under a different guise. What I wasn't quite expecting when I first looked at this is that it seems the 4th and 5th starters were already on those short leashes and haven't seen much change with the increase in bullpen innings (esp considering that by the time the season's done, the #4 and #5 slots have been filled by the 6th and 7th starters).

What we've seen over the last two yeas is an increase in RP innings of about 50-60 per year (on average), about 35 in 2016 and the rest in 2017. It looks like half or more of that came off the top 2 starters and I suspect another 10-15 came off the #3. If we'd seen 10 innings off of every slot or a tilt towards the #4 and #5 starters, then it might be a reaction to the 3rd time jitters (for bad starters). This looks more like a "even the top guys aren't going more than 100-105 pitches anymore" jitters.

# starters (up to 1 relief appearance) with at least 100 pitches per start ... bear in mind, 2012-14 was the recent offensive slump

2012 38
2013 41
2014 39
2015 29
2016 20
2017 15

# with at least 5 2/3 IP/start

2012 112
2013 100
2014 128
2015 107
2016 81
2017 65

If you make it 6 IP/start, the last 3 years have gone 65, 51, 36. These are innings coming off of (mainly) the top starters.

They of course aren't going directly from the top 3 starters to the #8 relievers. Presumably these guys are getting pulled earlier in favor of (a) good relievers in high-ish leverage and (b) who cares in low-ish leverage. So this might be working better for the team (scenario a) and the pitcher (scenario b, why use up his arm in those situations). Then hopefully the guys now reliever top starters in the 6th are pitching fewer low leverage innings and that's where the #8 slot is making his living.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:26 PM (#5637650)
In 2017, the Giants led the way in letting their starter face 27+ batters 69 times. Followed by the Nats with 65, Bos with 61 then a pretty big gap to Det and Atl at 53. At the other end of the spectrum were LAA and Cincy at 22 -- probably mainly due to having lousy starters -- but the Cubs, Milw and Miami at 24. The Cubs had a veteran, durable, healthy starting staff but rarely let them go 27 BF. Seven of the 24 were games where the starter struggled pretty badly (at least 4 runs in 6 innings or fewer).

In 2015, the top team had 85 and the 29th team had 36 (Ari did have just 25). Back in 2012, those were 97 and 46. Way back in 1980, Oakland led the way with 135 and the next-to-last Angels had 68, nearly the same as the 2017 first-place Giants. I know, that's nothing new, just always gets me how much SP has changed during my lifetime.

I don't think there's enough pattern yet to call it a trend but last year there were just 52 SP to have even 15 quality starts, much lower than the previous 5 years. I don't think that was a drop in quality, just quantity. League leaders look to be Sale and Verlander with 23.

In 2015, Greinke had 30 and Arrieta 29, followed by two guys with 27. In 2016, Verlander led with 27, followed by three guys with 26, one with 25 and three more with 23. So eight guys with 23+ QS in 2016 down to two in 2017.

It makes obvious sense to curtail the innings of the lower-level SPs but upper-level is questionable ... might still be correct of course. But it looks like these guys were already curtailed, probably lost their innings to RP #7. Hard to define, this was just the first thing that sprang to mind:

#starters, 150+ IP, ERA+ <=95 ... certainly includes some guys expected to be #2-#3 or at least pitch like them (Shark, Lackey, maybe Kennedy for 2017) but look like mainly durable #4s to me. Note that the drop happens in 2015 but it's been pretty steady over the last two years as the 8th RP slot was added:

2012 32
2013 27
2014 30
2015 24
2016 23
2017 21
   37. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5637664)
In 1988, Danny Jackson and Orel Hershiser tied for the NL lead in complete games with 15 while Roger Clemens and Dave Stewart tied for the AL lead at 14. These four pitchers combined for 58 CG, or, 1 fewer than was thrown in MLB last year.

Corey Kluber and Ervin Santana each had more complete games than any other team last year except Boston, who tied them with 5.

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