Arrieta was scheduled to meet with the Phillies brass this week to talk about whether he should shut it down for the rest of the season or continue to gut it out.
Arrieta has pitched with a bone spur in his right elbow this summer, with sporadic effectiveness. On Sunday in San Francisco, the right-hander had his worst outing of the season: seven hits, a walk and five runs allowed in three innings on just 66 pitches.
At some point, he needs to have arthroscopic surgery.
Over his past 13 starts, Arrieta has a 5.76 ERA, with 84 hits and 25 walks allowed in 65⅔ innings. He has not pitched well, but the Phillies' rotation has been thin, and Arrieta at least offers the hope of some decent starts.
The Phillies are 60-58 and two games out in the NL wild-card race. If Arrieta's spur treatment and rehab are typical, he could have the procedure at the end of the season and still have time to be ready for the start of next season.
But if he has the surgery now, he would have more time to prepare for 2020 -- a year that might serve as a platform for his next round of free agency.