Boras still has one prominent free agent remaining — closer Greg Holland — after reaching one-year deals in recent days to bring Carlos Gonzalez back to Colorado and Mike Moustakas back to Kansas City, both at discounts.
Other former Cy Young Award winners in their 30s have landed far more lucrative deals than Arrieta in recent years, including David Price (seven years, $217 million with Boston) and Zack Greinke (six years, $206.5 million). But those contracts are widely viewed as excessive, and even as teams thrive financially, most are leery of making such commitments to players who may be declining.
The Phillies’ top baseball operations officials know Arrieta well, though not from his prime years. Andy MacPhail, the team president, and Matt Klentak, the general manager, worked for Baltimore when Arrieta reached the majors in 2010. He pitched decently for the Orioles, if inconsistently, in his first two seasons.