The Chicago Cubs Jake Arrieta is set to become a free agent after the 2017 season, and he’s got an idea of what kind of money he’d like to get.
To this point, talks of extending Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta have gone nowhere. On Thursday, FanRag Sports Network‘s Jon Heyman reported that Arrieta is seeking a deal north of four years and exceeding $200 million. Here’s what Heyman had to say:
"The Cubs and Jake Arrieta’s agent Scott Boras spoke within the past few weeks, and there was said to be “no traction.” The expectation is that Arrieta will be a free agent at year’s end. Cubs people love Arrieta, and helped turn him into a big star. However, the belief is that they wouldn’t go more than four years, if that. Arrieta is looking for a mega deal along the lines of the Max Scherzer contract with the Nats …"
This news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Back in May of last year, Arrieta expressed his belief that he should be worth more than the Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, who signed an extension for $175 million. That gave us an early indication of what it would take to retain Arrieta.
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If it’s true that the Chicago Cubs refuse to sign him for more than four years then you can consider this Jake Arrieta’s last season on the North Side. This isn’t the first time he’s been insistent on getting a seven-year deal. If the Cubs won’t budge, other teams will no doubt offer him what he’s after.
Other pitchers like Max Scherzer and David Price have already set the market, and with Arrieta’s resume, he shouldn’t have a hard time getting the mega-deal he wants. Beyond years, the Cubs aren’t likely to swing an excess of $200 million anyway. Even if Arrieta has an entirely mediocre season, it’s hard to envision him getting less than, say, $165 million. The market for quality starting pitching is pretty sparse right now, so teams will pay up.
End of an era?
Brace yourselves. Barring something completely unexpected from either the Chicago Cubs or Arrieta’s camp, this looks like former NL Cy Young Award winner’s last season with the team. In many ways, this is similar to the Dexter Fowler situation. Arrieta has earned the right to make this much money, but he’s probably not going to get it from the Cubs.
Maybe a deal gets reached, but it’s hard to see that happening at this point. So enjoy watching the veteran right-hander this season, because it could very well be his last with the Chicago Cubs.