It was the rumor that never seemed to go away: The Phillies and pitcher Jake Arrieta were linked all offseason long.  And then after the offseason as Spring Training got going.  Just shy of a month after Spring Training began, the rumors are likely over.

According to multiple reports, including this one from Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, the Phillies and Arrieta have agreed to a three-year deal.  The deal is reportedly pending a physical.  Nightengale also reports that the deal is for three years and $75 million.

Arrieta had originally been looking for a five or six year deal, according to many offseason reports.  The Cubs replaced Arrieta with starter Yu Darvish, who received six years and $126 million. Arrietta's deal exceeds the average annual value of $21 million per season by getting Arrieta.

The Phillies played chicken with Arrieta and his agent Scott Boras and won.  While players on the free agent market remained unsigned, the Phillies sat back and essentially said, "If you want to play here for three years, let us know".  The Phillies had the money in their till and ultimately the Phillies were in a solid position to add Arrieta.

The personal connections certainly did not hurt.  Outfielder Nick Williams, also a resident of Austin, Texas, worked out with Williams in the offseason.  President Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and director of player development Joe Jordan all were in the Orioles system when Arrieta came through.

The Phillies play Sunday night in Bradenton against the Baltimore Orioles and are scheduled to play Monday night at the Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee against the Atlanta Braves.  Presumably the Phillies will introduce him in Clearwater soon.  The next home game at Spectrum Field is Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.