Chicago Cubs extend qualifying offers to Davis, Arrieta

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 26: Manager Joe Maddon
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 26: Manager Joe Maddon /

The Chicago Cubs made their first move of the offseason by extending qualifying offers to Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. Could either of the two accept it?

The start of the offseason has begun. The Chicago Cubs have extended qualifying offers to Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. If you’re curious how they decide what the QO is, this will be a good place to start. The parties will be able to continue to work towards a long-term deal should that be what they desire. Could either accept the QO for the 2018 season?

The QO for each of them is $17.4 million. Arrieta stands to do better than that, as his agent Scott Boras believes he could net a six or seven-year deal. For Davis, the potential of accepting it is more realistic, as the number puts him about $200k more ahead of the blockbuster deal (five-year, $86 million) the Yankees gave former Cubs closer, Aroldis Chapman. IF either rejects it–which Arrieta will likely do–it doesn’t mean they can’t sign with the Cubs. It just looks less likely.

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Putting it all together

Arrieta came from Baltimore with the arm and talent, but unable to put it all together. Once he teamed up with former Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio the light went off.

Arrieta became “Jake the Snake,” and was near untouchable for much of his career in Chicago. In five years with the Cubs, Arrieta went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA. With a WHIP of 1.034 and just under nine K’s per game, he was a dominant force for the Cubs rotation.

As he will turn 32 before next season, this is Arrieta’s chance to get paid for the excellent work he’s done turning his career around since coming over from the Orioles.

Not going to happen

It would stun the Cubs, the fans, the game of baseball and his agent if he were to accept the offer from them. Not to say he can’t still sign with the Cubs–but I wouldn’t expect any “hometown discount” from Arrieta–or Boras, for that matter.

Davis, on the other hand, could accept his. He would be gambling on himself if he took it, as he has very little left to prove after a stellar season. The Cubs knew they would need to replace Chapman, and did so by trading Jorge Soler for Davis. Davis saved 32 of 33 opportunities, posting a 2.30 ERA in the process.

If there is a concern about Davis, it was the number of home runs given up this season. After allowing just three in his first three seasons as a reliever, he allowed six this year. But many of those were in non-save situations, so didn’t adversely hurt him when it came to saves.

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Without a closer in waiting ready, the Cubs would love for Davis to accept the QO. But that isn’t going to happen. The two will decline the offer and see what free agency has to offer. The Cubs also didn’t extend offers to reliever Koji Uehara, outfielder Jon Jay, reliever Brian Duensing and right-hander John Lackey. They will have the chance to negotiate with all of these players during free agency. Let the fun begin.