Phillies

Jake Arrieta makes a promise to Philadelphia

Jake Arrieta makes a promise to Philadelphia

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jake Arrieta knows something about rebuilding efforts. He joined the Chicago Cubs during a 96-loss season in 2013. Two years later, he won the National League Cy Young Award and helped the Cubs win 97 games. A year later, the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years.

Arrieta had 75 million reasons to come to Philadelphia.

Make it 75 million plus one.

"I knew this was an organization that was hungry to win and would do the necessary things to take that step," he said. "I feel like we're not far away. I think rebuild is a loose term. A rebuild doesn't mean you can't win now. 

"I intend to come in here and win right away. 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."

The Phillies made a late push over the weekend to sign Arrieta. He is guaranteed $75 million over three years and there is a team option to extend the deal to five years. The Padres, Brewers and Nationals were all in the running for him, according to sources.

Arrieta was introduced in a news conference at the Phillies' spring training site Tuesday morning. A number of players attended the news conference — in uniform. An hour later, Arrieta joined them on the field in uniform.

During the news conference, Arrieta spoke to his new teammates — and the fans.

"A message I want to send to not only the players but to Philadelphia in general and the entire Phillies nation is that what we're going to do here is we're going to promise a fight," the pitcher said. "There is no guarantee you're going to feel good or you're going to have your best stuff or you're going to get a great night sleep the night before. But what we can promise is that we're going to have conviction, we're going to fight and we're going to win at the end of the day.

"I couldn't be happier to be a Phillie. I look forward to getting on the field with my teammates and winning some games."

Though his free agency lingered into March, Arrieta is well conditioned. He had gotten up to 65 pitches in bullpen workouts back home in Texas. He believes he can be ready to pitch during the first week of the regular season. The Phillies have not yet come up with a plan. Regardless, Arrieta projects to reach the 30 starts that he has averaged the last four years.

"My body is in tremendous shape," the 32-year-old right-hander said. "Obviously, I haven't been in a game yet but I'm a quick learner and I like my chances at getting ready."

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

In another sign that he's likely to return to managing in the majors in 2020, Joe Girardi stepped down as the manager of USA Baseball, the organization announced Wednesday.

Girardi, who is believed to have met with Phillies officials Monday, is a strong candidate for multiple open manager jobs. The Phillies are interested, and the Cubs and Mets appear to be hot after him as well.

Girardi is the overwhelming fan choice to manage the Phillies. It's hard not to see the appeal of his combination of experience, blend of new school and old school and track record of winning. Phillies fans seem to prefer Girardi to Buck Showalter, whose teams haven't advanced as far in the postseason.

Girardi has played things differently this year than last. He had two interviews for the Reds job last fall but pulled himself out of the process, saying it wasn't the right time.

Now, he wants to manage. And the openings this time around are more appealing — three major market clubs in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The Mets do not spend to their market size but the Phillies and Cubs have done so in win-now periods.

It is much more likely that the Phillies would be forced into a bidding war for Girardi than for Showalter because of the number of interested teams.



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Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

The first of the eight manager jobs open across Major League Baseball to begin this offseason has been filled.

The Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday announced the hiring of Joe Maddon. Maddon's contract is reportedly for three years. A native of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon has a long history in the Angels organization. Between 1975 and 2006, Maddon played and managed in the team's minor-league system, served as a coach with the Major League club and assumed the role of interim manager.

Maddon has a 1,251-1,068 record as a manager in the major leagues. He led the Tampa Bay Rays to an American League pennant in 2008 and skippered the Chicago Cubs to a World Series in 2016, their first championship since 1908. Maddon will take over an Angels team that finished 72-90 in 2019, led by two-time MVP Mike Trout.

Though Maddon might have appeared to be an attractive name for the Phillies job, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker are the only candidates known for the position at the moment, according to Jim Salisbury. Baker is meeting with Phillies officials Wednesday, and a hire could come quickly, per Salisbury (see story).

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports Showalter was the runner-up for the Angles job.



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