Chicago Cubs: Resigning Jake Arrieta looking more and more unlikely
By Erik Mauro
The Chicago Cubs still have two spots to fill in the 2018 rotation, and there was some rumblings that Jake Arrieta may take the qualifying offer for $18 million. Now, with every good start down the stretch, the re-sign is looking more and more unlikely.
As recently as last night, Arrieta pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on nine hits, with five strikeouts and no walks. The walks have always been a big issue for him. But, Arrieta has had a really good second half so far, which will only increase his value.
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Before the season started, the rumors were that Arrieta wanted “ace” money, meaning about $200+ million. Out of the gates, he struggled a tad, pitching to an ERA of over 4.50 the first three months of the season, while struggling with walks.
But, since the beginning of July, Arrieta pitched to a 2.30 ERA, helping not only the rotation turn around, but the Cubs turn it around as well. In three weeks since the All-Star break, the Cubs made up seven games in the standings, retaking first place from the Brewers.
For the season, Arrieta currently holds a 3.83 ERA, with a 4.10 FIP, and a .279 BABIP. In 134 innings pitched, Jake has 129 strikeouts, and he sports a 8.6 K/9, with a 2.82 BB/9. The walks are still a tad high, but that is who he is at this point in his career. During his time with the Cubs, Jake has won a Cy Young, made an all star team, won a World Series (in which he pitched two fantastic games, to add on.) He won the silver slugger for pitchers in 2016. Oh, and he’s pitched a no-hitter, maybe two, not really a big deal there, I guess.
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With pitching at the premium that it is, and how valued pitching is in baseball nowadays, Arrieta has put together more than enough to strike big in free agency. As we’ve seen with past free agents, the Cubs are not going to overpay, but they will name their price.
For example, the idea of an extension was proposed this spring training, but neither side could come to an agreement. If Arrieta keeps up this pace all second half and postseason, the price will be too much for the Cubs.