MLB Rumors: Nationals ‘Remain Engaged’ With Jake Arrieta, Monitoring Possibilities, Says Bob Nightengale

Washington is still interested in getting the top free agent pitcher, but has other options, the 'USA Today' writer says.

mlb rumors nationals remain engaged with jake arrieta
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Images

Washington is still interested in getting the top free agent pitcher, but has other options, the 'USA Today' writer says.

The MLB rumors continue with several free agents still on the market and the Washington Nationals among the interested parties, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Several pitchers have joined new teams as Gerrit Cole is a member of the Houston Astros and Yu Darvish is now on the Chicago Cubs. That means that Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta remains the top free agent on the list that the team would like to acquire ahead of the upcoming season. There are some other potential candidates beyond Arrieta, though. Here’s the latest on the Washington Nationals’ rumors regarding which player could end up on their team among the options currently out there.

On Tuesday USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale tweeted about the latest update regarding the Nationals hunt for roster upgrades. Nightengale mentioned that the “Nationals remain engaged” with the top prize, pitcher Jake Arrieta. However, the team is also “monitoring” their other possibilities. That could include a number of other free agents that are still on the market, several of whom are pitchers. They include Lance Lynn from the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb. There’s also reliever Greg Holland and catcher Jonathon Lucroy to consider, as MLB Trade Rumors suggested.

jake arrieta top free agent target for nationals
Free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta remains the top target for the Washington Nationals, but other options are out there. Nam Y. Huh / AP Images

Arrieta would make a stellar addition to the Nationals lineup if they can land him. The 31-year-old pitcher threw 163 strikeouts with a 3.53 ERA for his 14-10 season with Chicago this past year. He’s gained plenty of experience, having been a part of the league since 2010 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles and now the Cubs. Washington could add him to their already talented team which continues to have playoff and World Series aspirations.

The team had one of its best seasons in 2017 going 97-65 but ended up losing to the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 National League Division Series. However, they did manage to win Game 4 by a final of 5-0. The highlight of that particular victory is the fact that Jake Arrieta was facing them. Arrieta lasted just four innings but struck out four while giving up two hits and a run. Still, his body of work more than qualifies him as a great pickup for their rotation which already features Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, and Stephen Strasburg.

While the MLB Trade Rumors site suggested other possible options for free agency including Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, or Greg Holland, they also were quick to mention it’s unknown if any of them are “presently seen as options” by the organization. Should Arrieta end up heading elsewhere, at least the team has several viable options out there.