Jake Arrieta Still In Play For The Milwaukee Brewers

The longer Jake Arrieta remains unsigned, the chances of the Milwaukee Brewers adding him increases.

Jake Arrieta throws a fastball.
Joe Robbins / Getty Images

The longer Jake Arrieta remains unsigned, the chances of the Milwaukee Brewers adding him increases.

Jake Arrieta to the Milwaukee Brewers rumblings have not died down just yet. Despite much of the hot stove talk surrounding Jake Arrieta including the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, it is safe to say that the Brewers are still involved. With the Milwaukee Brewers being that close to playoff contention, ruling them out when it comes to Arrieta would be unwise at this point.

Jake Arrieta will eventually sign to pitch somewhere before the MLB season starts. For now, according to USA Today’s Jesse Yomtov, there are potentially four MLB teams in play for Jake Arrieta. The Minnesota Twins join the aforementioned Brewers, Nationals, and Phillies as teams in the hunt for arguably the best free agent which remains unsigned.

Time is ticking for Jake Arrieta, but he still would have plenty of time to join a team and get acclimated.

Spring training is already underway, however, Jake Arrieta is a plug-in and play type of pitcher. Such an attribute would help whichever team Arrieta signs with.

Preparedness has become commonplace with Jake Arrieta during his tenure with the Chicago Cubs. Ability has always been there as well. Take away the injuries that Jake Arrieta suffered while with the Cubs and the team which signs him will have an effective pitcher. That team could be the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jake Arrieta is now three seasons removed from winning the National League Cy Young award. Arrieta’s velocity has decreased since winning the award as one of the aces of the Chicago Cubs’ pitching staff, however, he has learned how to adjust by mixing speeds on his pitches.

There are a few subtle things could factor into just how effective Jake Arrieta can be going forward without the Cubs. Among those subtleties is where Arrieta pitches.

Perhaps the team that could use Jake Arrieta the most is the Milwaukee Brewers. Also, the Brewers give him a familiar stadium for Arrieta to pitch out of in Miller’s Park.

While with the Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta was 4-0 at Miller’s Park. Despite only being 90 miles north of Wrigley Field, the wind currents blow slightly differently. This allows many of the Brewers’ pitchers to induce ground balls versus the fly balls in Wrigley Field.

The difference here is that one of Jake Arrieta’s struggles last season with the Chicago Cubs was the number of home runs he allowed. According to Baseball-Reference, Jake Arrieta gave up 23 dingers with the Cubs last season. That number was an increase from the 16 Arrieta allowed in 2016. When Jake Arrieta won the National Cy Young award only 10 of his pitches left the ballpark.

The Milwaukee Brewers give up a lot of fly balls in the summer months, as do most MLB teams. Last season, that was done with a pitching staff looking to prove itself.

A recent CBS Sports’ report points to the still unproven Milwaukee Brewers’ pitching rotation as the primary reason why they should sign Jake Arrieta. It could also be the reason why the Brewers should be considered as one of the front-runners for Arrieta.

Another reason for the Milwaukee Brewers to target Jake Arrieta is their offseason additions of outfielders (courtesy of MLB.com) Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich. Not only are Cain and Yelich great offensive players, they are brilliant defensively. The combination of Cain and Yelich, along with how different Miller’s Park plays versus Wrigley Field creates a perfect landing spot for Jake Arrieta.

The Milwaukee Brewers are regarded as a team on the rise. Getting to the postseason would be a successful season for the Brewers. The everyday lineup is set, all the Milwaukee Brewers need is an ace pitcher. The question becomes, do the Brewers consider Jake Arrieta as the difference-maker?

At the end of the day, it will come down to how much Jake Arrieta is willing to come down on his asking price. Arrieta will be 32 years old. Could the Milwaukee Brewers lure him with a five-year, $110 million deal? Doing so would be a win for both the Brewers and Jake Arrieta as they look to compete wire to wire with the Chicago Cubs.