The New York Mets are one of the multiple teams who will head to Austin, Texas, to watch Jake Arrieta showcase what he has left in his tank. Arrieta was coming off the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and pitched his worst season since 2012.
Jake Arrieta, Nasty 88mph Changeup…and Sword. ?? pic.twitter.com/4MsnPz66Fp
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 5, 2020
Arrieta is heading into his age-35 season and has fallen off dramatically since his illustrious 2015 Cy Young award-winning season. His ERAs since 2015 are 1.77, 3.10, 3.53, 3.96, 4.64, and 5.08. Arrieta’s once unhittable sinker lost its bite, resulting in the lowest strikeout rate of his career.
Arrieta’s effectiveness with his offspeed pitches was the one redeeming quality of his 2020. He threw his slider 23.2% of the time, and batters hit just .178. Arrieta’s changeup had an xBA of .225 and a 30.6 whiff rate. As Arrieta’s sinker declines, he will need the secondary pitches to revive his career.
It is unlikely for the Mets to take a risk on Arrieta unless he shows flashes of his Cy Young caliber years. The Mets do not have a rotation spot to offer him, especially with Trevor Bauer potentially on the horizon. The bulk of their offseason moves show they are looking for younger, more reliable depth options for their starting pitching.