Chicago Cubs face plenty of competition for Jake Arrieta
Every offseason, starting pitching seems to take center stage. With Jake Arrieta hitting the open market, this winter seems to be no exception as the list of suitors, including the Chicago Cubs, continues to grow.
With this weak free agent class of starting pitchers, Jake Arrieta is one of the best available. Along with the likes of Yu Darvish, the former Chicago Cubs right-hander is looking for a $150 million- plus payday.
Arrieta had a pretty good 2017 for the Cubs – it was obviously nothing compared to the Arrieta of 2015, when he put together one of the best second halves in baseball history. According to Baseball Reference, he was a 1.9 WAR player this year.
In 30 starts, the former Cy Young Award winner had a 3.53 ERA, a 4.16 FIP and 1.218 WHIP. That’s not going to blow you out of the water, but it’s an all-around solid year. It looks even better when you break the season up and see the upward trend he finished the season on.
Consistency key for Arrieta
Entering into his age-32 season, there are some questions about what his value truly is. Can a team count on Arrieta when he approaches 40? There’s no question that he keeps himself in great shape, but Father Time is undefeated. Also keep in mind his intense workload the past three seasons.
Like many other 2017 Cubs, the first half of the year was a lot tougher than post All-Star break. His ERA first half was 4.35 – hardly ace-like. But, in the second half, he dropped it down to an outstanding 2.28.
Getting back to the free agency aspect of it though, which teams will be willing to bring Arrieta in? There are the staples everyone has heard of, but I think that there are teams flying under the radar that could make a play for the right-hander.