Chicago Cubs: What if Jake Arrieta becomes a St. Louis Cardinal?

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs’ free agent Jake Arrieta will have his choice of where he wants to go this offseason. It might still be the Cubs–although that’s a very slim chance. But he wouldn’t go to the Cardinals, would he?

Jake Arrieta has spent some good years with the Chicago Cubs. A Cy Young award, that crazy Wild Card game against the Pirates. Regardless how you feel about him and the money he’s going to ask for–he’s done his share for the Cubs. He helped bring a World Series title to Chicago. With the potential of big money in front of him, he could go anywhere. He wouldn’t consider going down the interstate to St. Louis, right?

There are pros and cons to this. First, we’re going to face him a few times a year. It’s inevitable. It’s easy to say “he isn’t worth the money.” But what about when you have to face him a few times a season? Never fun. And the thought of potentially getting no-hit by him? Granted, that’s an unlikely scenario. But it’s one of those things that would make people say “we should have signed him.”

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Will one former Cubs help another?

Does Dexter Fowler have any pull with Arrieta? Or with the front office of the Cardinals? The Cards were willing to pay for Fowler. So he could try to sway the FO to make a play at him. But this isn’t all bad. While the Cardinals would love to have Arrieta, they need more than just a frontline starter. And he’s going to command a large chunk of money. It would definitely hamstring the Cards, in my opinion.

This seems to have become the norm with these two teams. After the Cubs signed Jason Heyward and John Lackey, the Cardinals went and signed Fowler. The Cubs signed Jon Jay, who started with the Cards but made a stop in San Diego in 2016. Is it the Cardinals turn to “return the favor” by signing Arrieta?

Money, money, money

There will be a bidding war for Arrieta’s services, much like there was for Heyward. The Cubs will have a lid they’ll put on that spending, and once it gets over that, they’ll likely bow out. The Cubs spent big for Heyward. And while he’s put together two Gold Glove seasons (as advertised), he’s not been the offensive player the Cubs spent the money on. Maybe Arrieta will be the same signing for the Cards as they look to gain back some of the power in the Central.

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The Cardinals aren’t at the top of the list for destinations for Arrieta. The Cubs, Astros and Dodgers all seem like good fits. If he goes to a team in a rebuild, it will be for the money and nothing more. He’s rebuilt his career and won a World Series. This is a chance for the Cardinals to sneak in and make a move on the Cubs. But I don’t expect it to be enough.