"I have tremendous confidence and faith in my talent and my ability, so I knew regardless of how long it was going to take, I was going to sign with an organization," said Arrieta, who was alongside agent Scott Boras, one of the most vocal critics of an apparent tanking epidemic.
"Fortunate enough, it's an organization like the Phillies who do have that commitment to winning, taking that next step to putting a championship ball club on the field.
"Unfortunately, there's an uncompetitive nature amongst several teams in this league, and the Phillies aren't one of them."
The 32-year-old Arrieta, who donned a Phillies uniform and hat for the first time, said he expects to be ready for the beginning of the season, although the team already tabbed Aaron Nola as its Opening Day starter.
Arrieta's three-year deal reportedly guarantees the veteran pitcher $75 million, plus incentives, and includes an opt-out following the 2019 season. However, the Phillies can void Arrieta's opt-out by giving the pitcher a two-year extension worth $20 million per year for the 2021 and 2022 seasons - making it a five-year, $115-million contract, plus performance incentives.
During the press conference, Boras also spoke out against what many view as a troubling trend for the league.
"In a marketplace where you've got 30 boats in the blue lake of free agency and maybe as many as 12 are no longer fishing and the other five have determined that the gas tax is too great," Boras suggested, "we're left with a free-agent model that is no longer competitive."
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