It’s March 6th and there is a crazy long list of good major league players still sitting at home without a team. The most prominent name among them is one Jake Arrieta. I really can’t fathom what is going on here because it’s gotten that ridiculous.
Sure, the MLB owners seem to be colluding against the players so that they can take all the big contracts down a notch. They are probably also either waiting to add a giant deal next offseason, when the market is stacked with franchise altering stars, or they are a small market team in a rebuilding mode that is trying to keep that payroll nice and low.
So this leads us to Arrieta, who is almost any other year would have signed a mammoth deal, but now is without a team well into spring training. I’m sure he’s ticked off about how the market hit this way in his year to cash in after all he had done the past couple of seasons in Chicago. He deserves to be paid like an ace, but it just isn’t going to happen. At least, not right now.
Arrieta is holding fast on his end and waiting it out, but I think he’s already lost the battle here. At this point, he’s going to get a vastly smaller deal than he thought and he might even have to sign somewhere that he didn’t intend on going. His leverage is pretty much gone because he obviously can’t sit out the season or miss too much time. As of right now, he’d have to sign in the next week or so just to be ready to pitch with his new club in the opening series.
I feel for this guy, as much as you can possibly feel for a cool, jacked, millionaire with an awesome beard and a World Series ring. He just wants to get to camp and settle in with his new catcher, his new coaches, his new teammates and his new organization. But he doesn’t want to be treated like this and if I was him I’d be pissed and walking around my house saying how unfair it was (that sounds whiny but you would be too).
He’s just gotta bite the bullet at this point and sign on for a year with someone so that he can hopefully try again next offseason. Sadly, that plan kinda stinks too, but it’s really his only option.
*It’s amazing to me that the Phillies and the Brewers aren’t making this deal. I’m sure it’s hard for both sides to compromise but both of those clubs could really use the boost he would give them. Philly would get a big-name ace to start their climb back to relevance and Milwaukee would legitimize their claim as a contender. Pull the trigger!
*If Arrieta is this stuck, everyone else out there is screwed even worse.