Jake Arrieta rumors have been a hot topic this entire offseason, however, not many MLB experts would have believed last December that on March 8 the former Cy Young Award winner would still be looking for a team to catch on with. With exactly three weeks to go before Opening Day arrives, Arrieta may be forced to strike a deal that isn’t worth as much as he had hoped.

San Diego ready to make an offer?

With four teams (Philadelphia, Washington, Milwaukee, and the Chicago Cubs) continuously being mentioned to be in serious contention to sign Jake Arrieta, could a fifth team jump in at the last minute and strike a deal?

According to an MLB.com report, the San Diego Padres may just be that team. The Padres were one of the worst teams in all of baseball in 2017, but after making several key acquisitions this offseason, including setting a franchise record by signing free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer to a $144 million contract, could they be ready to do the same for Arrieta?

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that San Diego has had some serious internal talks about going after Arrieta. The Padres have not been linked to Arrieta this offseason until now, and it will be very interesting to see if this rumor has any legs to it over the next few days. Heyman also indicated that San Diego has been eyeing Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb.

Don't sleep on the Padres in terms of signing Arrieta. Many baseball gurus scoffed at the idea of Eric Hosmer leaving Kansas City to play in San Diego, yet the Padres got that deal done. Sometimes all it takes is one major signing to lead to several others. The Padres could be one of the most improved teams in 2018 if they can follow up on the Hosmer deal by inking Arrieta as well.

Phillies, Nats possibilities?

For the last week, it seems that the Philadelphia Phillies have become the frontrunners in the Jake Arrieta sweepstakes. While multiple sources have indicated that Philadelphia is very much interested in the right-hander, no offers have officially been made. The Phillies have a very young and talented staff that could grow with the help of a veteran like Arrieta.

The Nationals have also been rumored to be a top contender to land Arrieta. Adding Jake to a staff that boasts Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg could be just what the Nats need to make it to the Fall Classic this October. The Chicago Tribune recently reported that many experts believe that the Nationals are "keeping warm" a spot in the rotation for Arrieta. Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, reportedly maintains an open channel of communication with Nationals owner Ted Lerner, so time will tell.