The Philadelphia Phillies weren’t really players for major free agents earlier this winter — everyone expected them to be serious bidders in next winter’s potentially epic free agent class — but with Opening Day less than three weeks away, they took advantage of the soft market by signing Jake Arrieta to a three-year deal.
As dangerous as long-term contracts can be for pitchers, teams just kept handing them out for the past two decades, so three years is shockingly short for a pitcher who, while not Cy Young caliber any more, is still a well above-average starter. The fit here, however, is a strange one, with the Phillies still in the early stages of a rebuild, coming off a 66-96 season, and probably not contending until 2019 or 2020 at the earliest.
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