The Blue Jays, Rockies and Rangers are the latest teams to have expressed interest in top free agent starter Jake Arrieta, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
These three clubs, along with the Brewers and the Twins, have “checked in with” Arrieta’s agent Scott Boras. However, Cafardo says there is still the possibility the Cubs could re-sign the 31-year-old righty, who went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts last year.
But, the Blue Jays, Rockies and Rangers each have huge need for an ace like Arrieta. Arrieta is three seasons removed from winning the NL Cy Young Award after a 22-6 campaign with a 1.77 ERA and is two years removed from an All-Star year in which he also helped the Cubs win the World Series.
The Blue Jays entered this offseason looking to upgrade their rotation by adding an arm or two. Adding Arrieta with Marcus Stroman (5.8 WAR, 13-9 record last year) at the top of the rotation would give the Blue Jays dynamic duo at the top of their rotation that is capable of leading them to the postseason, but the Blue Jays may not be able to give him the long-term contract and give him the money he may command.
The Rockies, coming off their first postseason appearance since 2009 by earning the second wild card in the NL, have a young rotation and need that experienced veteran to put them over the top. They also are projected to have $35-40 million to spend this offseason, but Arrieta is likely looking for a long-term deal with a lot of money and a more pitcher- friendly ballpark.
The Rangers have a small advantage in that they are 40 minutes from where Arrieta played high school baseball in Plano, Texas. As nice as it would be to have a homecoming of sorts, the Rangers need multiple starters and landing Arrieta would not be enough to contend in the AL West as it stands now.