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Rumor Central: Brewers eyeing Jake Arrieta?

After 4 1/2 seasons with the Cubs, Jake Arrieta may be on the radar of the NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

After taking a big step forward in 2017, the Milwaukee Brewers might be considering making a splash on the free-agent pitching market.

Rumor CentralJon Morosi of MLB Network tweets the Brewers are showing interest in right-hander Jake Arrieta, who joins Yu Darvish as the top starters on the open market.

Morosi adds that the Brewers are looking for upper-tier rotation upgrades with Jimmy Nelson expected to miss a portion of the 2018 season following shoulder surgery.

The 31-year-old Arrieta has spent the last 4½ years with the NL Central rival Chicago Cubs and had his best season in 2015 when he won a Cy Young Award with a 1.77 ERA. Arrieta, who earned $15.6 million this year, has made at least 31 starts each of the last three seasons and was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 2017.

Milwaukee was 86-76 this season, a 13-win improvement from 2016, and remained in playoff contention until the final weekend.

The Brewers have the available cash to spend on free agents if they pursue that route, wrote Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel earlier this month.

-- Doug Mittler