MLB

Padres close to signing Jake Arrieta, reportedly taking chance on recently released veteran

The Padres for most of the season have looked like a playoff team, but things have gotten a bit tenuous recently. Their lead for the second wild card in the NL is down to 2 1/2 games over the Reds. Part of the issue with the Padres right now would be the decimated rotation. The latest blow was placing Yu Darvish on the injured list Sunday with lower back tightness. 

Perhaps even further illustrating how dire the situation is: The Padres are close to signing recently released veteran Jake Arrieta, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Don’t let the name recognition get you. The former Cy Young winner has looked totally cooked. He has a 5.44 ERA, 5.25 FIP and 1.57 WHIP in the last three seasons combined. That’s a 53-start sample. It’s gotten uglier as the months have progressed, too. In his last 15 starts this season with the Cubs, he had a 8.96 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .355/.421/.645 against him. 

No contender should even be thinking about him. 

And yet, the Padres — who missed out on Max Scherzer at last month’s trade deadline — are desperate. 

We already knew they’d be without Mike Clevinger this season (Tommy John surgery). Dinelson Lamet (elbow/forearm issues) has been hit or miss and is currently on the injured list. Adrian Morejon had to undergo Tommy John surgery in April. Chris Paddack is out with an oblique injury. A small village of relievers are on the injured list, including elite lefty Drew Pomeranz

Darvish had actually been struggling for a bit. Since the start of July, he’s made seven starts. He’s 0-5 with a 7.13 ERA. Still, he’s capable of a line like 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 12 K. That happened on Aug. 7. 

As things stand, the Padres’ four healthy starters are Arrieta, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove and Ryan Weathers

Snell has been disappointing this season, leading the majors with 63 walks. He has been good so far this August, so maybe he can build on that. Overall, Musgrove isn’t an issue. 

Weathers, 21, hasn’t thrown more than 96 innings in a pro season, only has 10 innings if minor-league experience above Class A and really shouldn’t have been forced into this role. It’s showing. He’s been shelled in his last three starts, allowing 20 runs on 22 hits in 11 2/3 innings. 

One might wonder why top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore hasn’t gotten his shot yet, and our own R.J. Anderson covered that last week

As such, they were left with Arrieta as a realistic option. 

If the Padres’ miss the playoffs, there will have been several culprits, but everything that has gone down with the rotation will be toward the top of the list. 



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