A slowed free agency market has left some big named free agents available in Major League Baseball. One of those names might be the biggest name of them all to hit the market this off-season. Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta remarkably remains without a contract. Last week, his former team the Chicago Cubs opted to sign Yu Darvish to a multi-year deal after a last-ditch effort fell through with Arrieta.
For much of the off-season Arrieta has been rumored to the Washington Nationals. Those rumors heated up when Darvish signed with the Cubs. Current Nationals’ star Bryce Harper made a strong plea for Arrieta when asked about the slowed market.
“For me, if I’m an organization or a team I want the best players on my team, Harper stated on Monday per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. “My fans deserve that. he players deserve that. There’s a guy like Jake Arrieta out there right now. I’d put him on my staff any day of the week.”
It’s worth noting Harper and Arrieta share the same agent, Scott Boras. Yet, there is a sense of urgency for Harper with the Nationals. It’s clear he understands time may be ticking.
“I mean he’s one of the best pitchers in the game, one of the best playoff pitchers in the game. You saw what he did,” Harper added per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
Harper, who will be a free agent next winter, seems intent to win a World Series. In six seasons with Washington, Harper has been a part of team that won four NL East division titles. Unfortunately, none have resulted in he and the Nationals advancing past the NLDS. This upcoming season will go a long way in Harper’s considerations to remain in D.C.
It may be in the team’s best interest to at least thoroughly look at Arrieta to not only appease Harper but his agent, Boras, as well. With that said, it is easy for players to campaign for other players. There are many other factors management must consider. The Nationals must protect themselves beyond just the 2018 season even for a stud like Arrieta, who will be 31-years of age.
However, it’s very understanding to see how Harper may be thinking. The 2018 season will be do or die for him and the Nationals one way or another. How the Arrieta situation plays out with Washington could dictate how things may play out between the two sides.