It's been a quiet winter in terms of free agent signings, but now that Spring Training has kicked off in earnest and teams are locked down and preparing for the upcoming season, the big name free agents are starting to sign contracts and report to camp.
Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez are the latest to sign nine-figure deals and begin working with their new clubs, but there's one standout player in particular who's still without a home: former NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta.
Arrieta has been linked to a handful of teams in recent weeks, including the Philadelphia Phillies, but according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, there's another NL East team who is the favorite at this point in time.
Inside Baseball: Where's Jake Arrieta going to sign? Here are the leading landing spots: https://t.co/Ib7AbqFgI5— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 22, 2018
The Washington Nationals have been interested in Arrieta from day one, of course, and the franchise has a great relationship with his agent Scott Boras, who has had plenty of his clients sign in the nation's capital in recent years.
Heyman believes the Nats have 2-1 odds to lure Arrieta to Washington, which already possesses a killer top-of-the-rotation with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg (both of whom are Boras clients).
If the #Nationals sign Jake Arrieta, how big of a punch in the gut would that be to the #Cubs? Scherzer, Strasburg, Arrieta, Gio, Roark? Thats filthy, especially trying to match up in a postseason series— Schindel Talks Sox (@SchinstalksSox1) February 22, 2018
To sign Arrieta, the Nationals would likely go over the luxury tax threshold, but with a lot of players coming off the books after the season, including Bryce Harper, they could reset the tax and move on from there.
With the chance that Harper doesn't return, it's imperative they do whatever they can to make this season count, and adding another ace to the rotation would increase their chances of winning a series and even coming out of the National League.