Jake Arrieta Contract With Phillies is Among the Worst of MLB Starting Pitchers

Washington Nationals  v Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies splurged on then-free agent starter Jake Arrieta in 2018, inking him to a three-year, $75 million deal based on his Cy Young-level performances as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

However, we're through two years of that deal and not only have we not seen Cy Young-winning form from Arrieta, but he's been below average this year, as a bone spur in his right arm has left him with a bloated 4.64 ERA.

Jake Arrieta Contract Details

Arrieta will be paid $20 million in 2020 and has $22.5 million club options for 2021 and 2022 in his age-35 and -36 seasons. He was paid $30 million in 2018 and $25 million this season.

His salary for this year ranks him within the top-10 highest-paid starting pitchers, which is a travesty considering he's 18-19 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 55 starts with the Phillies.

The worst part is that the Phillies HAD to have seen this regression coming. After his unreal Cy Young campaign in 2015 during which he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, the right-hander followed that up with an 18-8 season with a 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP and then a 14-10 year with a 3.53 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Were the Phillies seeing something the stat sheet wasn't clearly indicating?

While he's pitching through an injury this year to try and help his team -- an admirable sacrifice -- his regression continued in his first year with the Phillies as he finished 10-11 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.

A $25 million salary is supposed to get you an ace -- not a struggling 33-year-old pitcher.