Jake Arrieta may be the best option the Cardinals have to add some needed punch to their rotation
The Cardinals are reportedly in the market for starting pitchers this off-season. They already have solid starters like Carlos Martinez, and 2017 Silver Slugger winner Adam Wainwright, but many believe they need to add a big name from outside the organization in order to find success in the coming years.
Enter Jake Arrieta, a 31 year old right hander from Farmington MO. Arrieta last pitched for the Chicago Cubs with whom he won a Cy Young award and a World Series. Arrieta just rejected his qualifying offer from the Cubs, and he would make a fantastic addition to the Cardinals roster.
He would put the Cards in a position to contend much sooner than any of their other options.
HE’S A FORMER CUB
Let’s start with the pettiest reason why Arrieta might be an attractive signee for St. Louis; he’s a former Chicago Cub. Not only that, but he was one of their top starters for much of, if not all of his tenure in Chicago. He started, and won both game 2 and game 6 (an elimination game) of the 2016 World Series for the Cubs
After seeing players like Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and John Lackey all leave St. Louis to play for the Cubs, it’ll feel good to see a player of Arrieta’s caliber suit up in Cardinal Red for at least a few seasons.
HE HAS HAD SUCCESS
Since debuting in the major leagues in 2010, Arrieta has posted a career ERA of 3.57 with a career win percentage of .611. When you limit those stats to the last five years, his time with Chicago, his ERA drops to 2.73, and his win percentage rises to .687. You see similar changes when you compare his career regular season stats, to his postseason stats.
The best year of his career by far came in 2015 when he won the National League Cy Young Award. He posted a career low ERA of 1.77 and was credited with 22 Wins.
Arrieta’s personal stats speak for themselves, but the fact that he recently won a championship also plays a role in his attractiveness as a free agent. While the Cardinals still have players oon the roster who were here the last time they won a title, bringing someone in who just won, and still has that championship mindset can be a big boost.
HE’S ARGUABLY THE BEST OPTION
Arrieta may be the best starting pitcher in this class of free agents. Yu Darvish is another guy who has Ace caliber stuff at times, however his performance in the World Series may have left a bad taste in a lot of organizations’ mouths. A player who appears to fold in high pressure situations may not be ideal for a team looking to win a World Series.
Another potentially big name being floated around is Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese player who has elected to enter the MLB free agent pool. Ohtani has a lot of hype surrounding his entry into the MLB, as many Japanese players do, and that’s one of his main issues. If he doesn’t live up to the hype, then the time to get a solid ace may have passed, potentially leaving the cards out of luck for another year.
HE CAN ADD STABILITY TO THE CURRENT ROTATION
With Lance Lynn rejecting St. Louis’s qualifying offer, the odds of him leaving increase exponentially as he looks for a multi-year deal in free agency. Adam Wainwright, the would-be ace of the staff, is recovering from elbow issues that ended his 2017 season prematurely. With the rotation potentially in flux, Arrieta can be a stabilizing force.
If you’re looking for solid starting pitching in free agency, why not go with the best option in Jake Arrieta
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.
Photo Captured By: USA Today Sports-Jeff Curry