With Jake Arrieta signed, what comes next for the 2018 Phillies?


Jake Arrieta said goodbye Monday night.

"He's a competitor and he brings it every day and the way he goes about playing baseball is going to teach a lot of guys there's a lot of different ways to being successful and he's an example of that", Hunter said.

"We're serious about winning and we're going to do what it takes to win", co-owner John Middleton said.

Arrieta, the 2015 National League Cy Young Award victor, was the fourth free agent signed to a multiyear deal by the Phillies this offseason and the fourth eight-figure contract the team has handed out.

Arrieta had a rough start to the 2017 campaign (8-7 with a 4.35 ERA before the All-Star break), but his strong second half (6-3 with a 2.28 ERA) allowed him to finish with a 14-10 record, 163 strikeouts and a 3.53 ERA in 168.1 innings pitched. But they waited and waited, and by late February heard numbers more to their liking - then needed about two weeks to hammer out a complex deal that includes an opt-out for Arrieta after 2019 that the Phillies can override by granting a two-year extension. He struggled with the Orioles — 20-25, 5.46 ERA — but transformed himself into one of the top pitchers in the majors.

While the Phillies have not been contending over the past six years, and while they are in the middle of rebuilding, they feel like they can go out and win as well in 2018. If you ask him if there's anybody that can do it, it'd be him. None of them succeeded - unless you want to count Charlie Morton, who shredded his hamstring running to first base in April 2016 and wasn't heard from again until he wound up winning for the Astros in last year's World Series.

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One of the marquee free agents in this year's class, Arrieta has had a surprisingly long offseason.

Arrieta will join Aaron Nola atop the Phillies' rotation on a team that finished last in the NL East. Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez are expected to be in the rotation and Nick Pivetta is the leading candidate for the fifth spot. He's a smart, serious competitor who has won five games in the post season. The team has a slew of young pitchers who could fill in. "Even though we are technically in a rebuild, I think all the players would agree with me that we intend to win, rebuild or not".

"We showed [last year] we had some pretty good players", Hoskins said. What a competitor, what a person, what a pitcher to learn from.

Arrieta also said of his conditioning, via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, "My body is in tremendous shape".

To make room for the right hander on the 40-man roster, the club designated Tommy Joseph for assignment. Joseph batted.247 with 43 homers in two seasons for Philadelphia.

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