Tag: Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta Contract: Latest News, Rumors on SP’s Negotiations with Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are hoping to sign starting pitcher Jake Arrieta to a long-term deal before he hits free agency. 

Continue for updates.

Latest on Extension Negotiations

Thursday, Dec. 8

According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, the 30-year-old’s agent, Scott Boras, believes this is the time to come to an agreement with the team, and a contract will be discussed in January.

Arrieta is in his third year of arbitration and is set to be a free agent after the 2017 season.

The Cubs acquired Arrieta in a trade from the Baltimore Orioles during the 2013 season. Since then, the right-hander has blossomed into one of the top pitchers in the game.

After a breakout 2014 season during which he had a 2.53 ERA in 25 starts, Arrieta took home his first Cy Young Award in 2015, when he posted a 22-6 record, 1.77 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 229 innings.

He followed that up with a strong 2016, as he won 18 games with a 3.10 ERA, finishing in the top 10 of the Cy Young Award voting for the third year in a row. He was also instrumental toward helping the Cubs bring home their first World Series title since 1908.

Just for good measure, Arrieta also won a Silver Slugger Award in 2016 after posting a .262 batting average with two home runs.

This is especially impressive considering how well he shut down all opposing hitters, per Jayson Stark of ESPN.com:

While Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester also put together outstanding seasons for Chicago, Arrieta is still a valued member of the pitching staff, and the Cubs will likely want him around for as long as possible.

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Cubs Flaunt World Series Starter Edge on Back of Jake Arrieta’s Solid Game 2

The postseason of the bullpens ran into an everlasting truth in the first two games of the World Series.

The team with the better starting pitcher still wins most games. And the team with more good starting pitchers has an edge over the team that doesn’t have enough.

Officially, this World Series is tied at a win apiece after Wednesday night’s 5-1 Chicago Cubs victory in Game 2. Realistically, the Cubs have a significant edge over the Cleveland Indians for the same reason they had a big edge in Game 2.

Overall, their starting pitchers are better.

Maybe you didn’t see it in Game 1, because Corey Kluber is a true ace who was able to outpitch Cubs star Jon Lester. You sure did see it in Game 2, because while Cubs starter Jake Arrieta was a perfect fit for the assignment, Trevor Bauer was just an Indians version of Julio Urias or Kenta Maeda.

Remember them? They were the guys the Los Angeles Dodgers had to send to the mound in Games 4 and Game 5 of the NLCS after back-to-back shutouts put the Cubs in a 2-1 hole in the series.

Urias went 3.2 innings. The Dodgers lost big.

Maeda went 3.2 innings. The Dodgers lost big.

Soon enough, the Cubs were out of the hole and headed to the World Series.

So there the Cubs were Wednesday, trying to recover from their Game 1 loss to Kluber. They turned to Arrieta, who won a Cy Young Award last year. The Indians went to Bauer, who has talent but can’t always harness it.

Bauer went 3.2 innings. Guess who won big?

It helped, obviously, that Arrieta didn’t give up a hit for the first five innings. It helped that the Cubs had Kyle Schwarber, whose miraculous return looks more amazing by the day.

But on a night where the cold weather made pitching difficult, the Cubs had a starter who was up for the job. The Indians didn’t.

Arrieta threw too many pitches (98 in 5.2 innings), and he admitted to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that the cold weather kept him from getting a consistent feel of the ball.

“I did my best just to make some pitches,” he said.

That’s the difference between a guy who has won a Cy Young and a guy who has good stuff but is still far from figuring things out. Arrieta made pitches to get himself out of trouble, while Bauer kept making pitches that got him into trouble.

For all the questions after Game 1 about whether Andrew Miller’s 46 pitches would keep him out of Game 2, what really kept him out of Game 2 was the starting pitching mismatch. By making sure the Indians never got the lead, Arrieta kept Miller safely stowed away in the Indians bullpen.

Miller could still have a major impact on this World Series. So could Kluber, with the Indians making plans to start him on short rest in Game 4 and thus have him available to start a Game 7 (also on short rest).

But it’s going to take more than the two of them for the Indians to win it. They’re going to need a good performance from Josh Tomlin, who starts Game 3 against National League ERA champ Kyle Hendricks. They’re going to need someone to give them a chance in a Game 5 and a Game 6.

The Cubs have four legitimate World Series starters, with John Lackey set to go in Game 4. The Indians would have had the same thing if Danny Salazar (forearm) and Carlos Carrasco (hand) hadn’t got hurt in September.

It’s a credit to this team that it got this far without Carrasco and Salazar (who returned for the World Series and pitched out of the bullpen Wednesday). They deserve their place in the World Series, and they still could win it.

As big an edge as the Cubs starters have on paper, it’s no bigger than the edge Florida Marlins ace Kevin Brown had over Chad Ogea in Games 2 and 6 of the 1997 World Series. Ogea won both of those games and would have been the World Series MVP if the Indians had held on in Game 7.

The Indians are going to need another Ogea this week, another relative unknown to shine. Otherwise, the Cubs’ rotation edge will likely play out the way it did Wednesday night.

They had the better starting pitcher. They won the game.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

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Spotlight Is on Jake Arrieta to Overcome Checkered Postseason Past

Jake Arrieta, line one is for you. It’s destiny callingand it’s urgent.

Don’t worry. We’re not going to get too melodramatic after the Chicago Cubs‘ dispiriting 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s Game 2, which will begin an hour early at 7:08 p.m. ET on Fox because of the threat of rain, isn’t a must-win for Chicago.

It’s a best-of-seven series; the math is simple.

It is, however, a really-should-win, as well as an opportunity for Arrieta to overcome his checkered postseason past.

Overall, Arrieta owns a 4.11 ERA in 30.2 career playoff innings. That screams mediocrity, but the story is far more complex.

All of Arrieta’s postseason appearances have come over the past two seasons with Chicago. In the 2015 National League Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he twirled nine shutout innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts.

That same year, Arrieta won the NL Cy Young Award with a 1.77 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 229 innings. Still, he wobbled in his next two postseason starts.

He surrendered four earned runs in 5.2 innings in Game 3 of the division series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which the Cubs ultimately won 8-6. Then he gave up four earned runs in five innings in a Game 2 loss in the National League Championship Series to the New York Mets.

The Cubs were swept in that series. As for Arrieta, the sample-size explanation jibed at the time.

Arrieta, however, slumped in the second half of 2016 and particularly in September and October, when he allowed 27 hits, 11 walks and 15 earned runs in 29.1 innings.

That fecklessness leaked into the playoffs. He yielded 12 hits and six earned runs in his starts in Game 3 of the division series versus the San Francisco Giants and Game 3 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, both Cubs losses.

Chicago maintained its momentum and nailed down the franchise’s first pennant since 1945 thanks to an offense that leads all postseason qualifiers with 48 runs scored and a pitching staff that has gotten superlative performances from the likes of Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. 

Lester went unbeaten in the Cubs’ series against San Francisco and Los Angeles, rekindling the October magic that defined his stint with the Boston Red Sox, but he took the loss in Game 1 of the World Series.

Hendricks, meanwhile, mustered a sparkling performance in the clinching Game 6 against the Dodgers on Saturday, facing the minimum number of hitters through 7.1 shutout innings.

Skipper Joe Maddon and the Cubs brain trust, however, opted to push Hendricks back to Game 3 of the World Series, likely to afford him extra rest and exploit the 1.32 ERA he posted at Wrigley this season.

With veteran John Lackey locked in for Game 4, that leaves Arrieta on the hill for Game 2. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi suggested the Cubs’ rotation was set up “nicely.”

It’s hyperbole to say Arrieta is all that stands between Chicago and a 2-0 series deficit. Indians relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, however, demonstrated again Tuesday that an early Tribe lead is nearly insurmountable.

Cleveland ace Corey Kluber threw six shutout innings and made strikeout history, so dish credit in his direction.

Miller and Allen, though, recorded the final nine outs, six via strikeout. They’ve now combined for 22.1 scoreless playoff frames in 2016 with 39 whiffs.

Arrieta’s directive is to tamp down early offense. He needs to keep Cleveland off the board and give the Cubs a chance to draw first blood, neutralizing the threat of the Miller/Allen two-headed demon.

Arrieta posted a 3.59 ERA on the road this season compared to a 2.62 mark at home. So Maddon isn’t exactly playing the splits.

Instead, it’s time for the 30-year-old right-hander to conjure the guy who won the Senior Circuit’s highest pitching honor a season ago and authored two of MLB‘s last three no-hitters.

“It’s why you play the whole season,” Arrieta said, per Paul Skrbina of the Chicago Tribune. “To be in this position.”

Arrieta’s drop-off wasn’t the result of some cataclysmic event. He sported a 1.56 ERA at the end of May. Overall, however, his command fizzled, as he issued 76 walks in the regular season compared to 48 in 2015.

“It’s hard to repeat what he did last year,” Cubs catcher Miguel Montero said, per USA Today‘s Josh Peter. “He hasn’t pitched as well, but the stuff is still there.”

The point is, he’s not broken. He’s merely on the fritz. This is the time of year when unlikely heroes rise and stars wake from their slumber.

Locked and loaded as they were in Game 1, Indians hitters own a .219 postseason average. That number drops to .209 against righties.

“I would say the only problem Jake Arrieta has is excellent levels,” super-agent Scott Boras said of his client Oct. 18, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. “It’s the old story. Most people have a penthouse. He happens to have two or three floors. That’s where Jake is. Any one of the floors, we’re fine with.”

The Cubs would be fine with a quality outing and a chance to hand it off to their own pen, including flamethrower Aroldis Chapman.

Arrieta’s counterpart in Game 2, right-hander Trevor Bauer, is no sure bet as he recovers from a freak drone injury

Arrieta has every opportunity to be the better starter. He has a shot at high-profile redemption and an automatic pass to the annals of Cubbies lore.

Destiny is calling. Now, we need an answer.


All statistics current as of Tuesday and courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. 

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What Should We Make of Jake Arrieta and the Cubs’ Recent Stumbles?

Jake Arrieta is trying to author a worthy follow-up to a Cy Young-winning season, and he’s doing it on a Chicago Cubs team that’s trying to end a 108-year championship drought.

Nobody ever said accomplishing either task would be easy.

After losing the first two games of a four-game series against the New York Mets, the Cubs turned to Arrieta on Saturday hoping he would at least give them a chance to escape Citi Field with a split. Instead, Arrieta kicked things off with a 35-pitch first inning that included a two-run homer by Neil Walker, and ultimately lasted just five and one-third in a 4-3 loss.

With that, Arrieta turned a meager two-start skid into a slightly more concerning three-start skid:

A 5.96 ERA over three starts doesn’t constitute a disaster, but it’s still jarring once you remember this is the same guy who posted a 1.77 ERA last season. And for any pitcher, a 14-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio over three starts is…not good.

The Cubs have other problems—and we’ll get to those—but this is one they particularly don’t want to deal with. It’s supposed to be Easy Win Day when Arrieta pitches. It hasn’t been recently, and that obviously raises the question of what’s wrong.

Arrieta appears to be OK physically. Brooks Baseball can show his arm slot has been reasonably consistent all year. The same goes for his velocity. And though he didn’t have his best stuff against the Mets, he did sit around 94 mph with his sinker and climbed as high as 95.6 mph

As that K/BB ratio suggests, Arrieta’s bigger problem has been execution. To an extent, this isn’t just a blip on the radar.

Arrieta’s overall strike percentage is down from 65.2 in 2015 to 63.2 in 2016. A primary issue has been his command of his sinker. Going into Saturday, he was putting a smaller percentage of his sinkers in the strike zone than he was in 2015:

  • 2015: 55.1 percent
  • 2016: 51.2 percent

These aren’t perfectly clear windows into what’s up with Arrieta’s command. But they back up what the eye test has been saying all along: relative to last year’s overwhelmingly great performance, Arrieta hasn’t been as sharp in 2016.

But before we go turning a molehill into a mountain, here’s a good point from Ryan M. Spaeder:

Arrieta’s ERA was 1.74 before he hit this rough patch, but a 2.33 ERA is still pretty darn good. And with 115 strikeouts in 108.1 innings pitched, he hasn’t needed a ton of help from the baseball gods to get his ERA low. He’s still slinging some nasty stuff.

As for Arrieta’s command of that stuff, at least he’s aware he can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results.

“It’s a game of adjustments,” Arrieta said after the St. Louis Cardinals beat him June 22, per Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “I have to take it in stride and learn from it and go back to work tomorrow and combat the things that teams have done against me recently. It’s an easy fix. I think the byproduct will be very positive.”

So far, it hasn’t been an easy fix. But in light of what Arrieta did last season and what he’s done this season even despite some issues, he’s more than deserving of the benefit of the doubt.

In the realm of Cubs-related issues, the big picture is more concerning than what’s going on with Arrieta. They’ve won only four of their last 13 games, with three of those wins coming against the lowly Cincinnati Reds. Go back even further, and they’re now just 26-23 since getting out to that incredible 25-6 start.

Such is life when flaws begin to show themselves. And right now, the skipper is well aware of the one that’s plaguing his offense.

“For the most part, we were really good this April at making contact,” Joe Maddon said after Thursday’s 4-3 loss, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. “May was not as kind, June we’re falling backwards. We have to get back to where we were in April. That’s my biggest concern.”

Making contact was a problem last year, as the Cubs offense led baseball with a 24.5 strikeout percentage. This year, that problem has indeed caught up to them after hiding in April. From April to May to June, the Cubs’ strikeout rate has risen from 19.0 to 21.8 to 24.3. They now already have 23 whiffs in two games in July.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are also having issues with their bullpen. Its ERA has gone from 2.72 in April to 3.80 in May to 3.96 in June. They may be getting more antsy about this, as George A. King III of the New York Post recently reported the Cubs had dispatched three scouts to observe the New York Yankees‘ trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman.

Things have certainly changed since that 25-6 start. Around then, it was hard to argue with FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron’s notion that the Cubs looked like a perfect baseball team. But looking back now, it was obviously too good to be true.

However, a state of panic is not advised.

The Cubs offense may be racking up the whiffs, but whiffs didn’t stop it from being dangerous last year. So it goes in 2016. As of this moment, the Cubs still sit atop the National League with 420 runs scored. With an OPS in June (.792) that was much like their OPS in April (.796), they’re also not necessarily trending backward. And if Jason Heyward gets going (and he should), this offense will find another gear.

The Cubs’ pitching could also be in worse shape. This is mainly because their starters have yet to post an ERA over 3.00 in any month. With Arrieta likely to be fine in the long run, only Jason Hammel’s history of slow finishes is worth worrying about.

And as much as everyone is freaking out about the club’s bullpen, the last month could have been worse. Remove Adam Warren, Justin Grimm and Joel Peralta from the equation, and Cubs relievers pitched to a 2.66 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 61 innings. Thanks mainly to strong work from Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and Trevor Cahill, the core of the bullpen held strong.

The Cubs may no longer be perfect, but their downfall hasn’t taken them from “perfect” to “bad.” They’re still a formidable team. In the parlance of our times, all that’s happening now is them going through some [stuff].

It’s not pretty, but it probably won’t be permanent.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Cubs P and TCU Alum Jake Arrieta Loses Bet, Will Get Coastal Carolina Tattoo

Tattoo bets are no joke.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is about to find that out.

TCU, the 30-year-old ace’s former school, lost its chance to reach the College World Series finals after losing Saturday night’s game to Coastal Carolina, 7-5.

According to ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers, Arrieta lost a bet to former Chanticleer and current teammate Tommy La Stella.

“So happy for those kids,” said La Stella, per Rogers. “When we get back to Chicago, we’ll get him [Arrieta] tatted up for life.”

Surely, they’ll document this process, right?

“If it’s a body part that’s visually acceptable, absolutely,” La Stella said.

TCU defeated Coastal Carolina earlier in the week, however, which will force La Stella to dress up as the Horned Frogs mascot.


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Cubs Starters on Pace for Lowest Combined ERA Since 1919

The Chicago Cubs starting rotation enters Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals with a cumulative 2.34 ERA, which would be the lowest combined mark by any team’s starters since 1919, per MLB Stat of the Day.

No starting rotation has finished a season with an ERA below 2.50 since 1981, when the Houston Astros rotation posted a 2.43 mark during a strike-shortened season, per Christopher Kamka of CSN Chicago. 

Good health has been a large part of the equation, with Chicago using just five starters all season, as Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel have each started either 13 or 14 games.

Arrieta leads the way in terms of record (11-1), ERA (1.74), WHIP (0.95) and strikeouts (101), with Lackey holding the lead for innings pitched (94.0), just a smidge ahead of Arrieta‘s 93.0 and Lester’s 91.2.

Each of the five starters own a sub-3.00 ERA and sub-1.10 WHIP, and they’ve combined for 49 quality starts in 68 tries, helping the team to a 47-21 record.

The starting rotation has a cumulative 39-15 record, with the also-sturdy bullpen chipping in an 8-6 mark.

If not for the presence of Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw—who is enjoying one of the finest seasons by a starter in MLB historyArrieta and Lester would both look like strong candidates for the National League Cy Young Award.

As is, Arrieta still has time to make a run at a repeat, but it does appear an injury is the only thing that could truly stand in Kershaw‘s way.

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Jake Arrieta Comments on Madison Bumgarner Wanting to Be in MLB Home Run Derby

Add Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta to the list of National League pitchers who want to participate in the Home Run Derby. 

Arrieta joined San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner as star hurlers hoping to show off their swing, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

“If [Bumgarner]’s in it, I need to be in it,” Arrieta said. “He can hit the ball a long way, but I can too.”

He also mentioned that taking part in the event would be a greater thrill than some of his pitching accomplishments, per ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers:

Arrieta displayed his power when he launched this bomb off Arizona’s Shelby Miller on April 10, courtesy of MLB.com:

The jack came on Arrieta‘s first plate appearance of the season.

For his career, he has three home runs and 13 RBI in 169 plate at-bats.

Bumgarner told ESPN’s Buster Olney this week that he wants to be in the Derby. However, Giants manager Bruce Bochy would not let that happen, per Olney.

“No, to be serious, I couldn’t let him do it,” Bochy said. “We couldn’t let him do it. 

“And [Bumgarner], he’s convinced he could win it,” the manager continued. “I think he would wear himself down in the first round; he’d try to hit it so hard.”

Bumgarner noted that suffering an injury in the competition would not be an issue, as the team let him ride a horse when he carried the team’s World Series banner before San Francisco’s home opener last April, per Olney.

“I mean, they had me ride a horse on the field, so if they trust me with something like that with 40-some-thousand people going crazy and I can’t do baseball activities, that’s a little bit different,” Bumgarner said. “We’ll talk about it for sure. I’m not trying to say that this is a done deal or anything like that.”

In 401 career at-bats, the 26-year-old has 13 dingers and 45 RBI. Two of his homers have come off Clayton Kershaw, including this one from last year, courtesy of MLB.com:

According to former MLB player and Fox Sports Midwest’s Rick Ankiel, Bumgarner could win the competition:

Arrieta or Bumgarner would be a fun addition to an event that could use a spark. If it came down to only one pitcher being allowed entry into the Derby, then MLB should choose Bumgarner. He has proved to be more of a threat at the plate.


Statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com.

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Jake Arrieta Loses vs. Diamondbacks, 1st Defeat Since July 2015

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta got a taste of defeat Sunday for the first time in more than 10 months.

Thanks to the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner suffered his first loss since July 25, 2015, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Arrieta struck out 12 in five innings of work while allowing three earned runs at Wrigley Field.

Arrieta’s last loss was at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter that day to claim the 5-0 victory against Chicago before being traded to the Texas Rangers four days later.

Since that loss, Arrieta seemed unstoppable. He closed the season by going 11-0 in 13 starts, and the Cubs won all of those games. That started a streak of the Cubs winning 23 consecutive games in which Arrieta started, which the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped Tuesday.

It was a phenomenal 10-game homestand overall for the Cubs, but their two losses came in the most unusual of ways, as Jon Greenberg of the Athletic Chicago noted:

Arrieta’s bid for a second straight Cy Young Award is off to a terrific start. While the loss Sunday is his first blemish of 2016, he came into the day with a 9-0 record and among the league leaders in ERA. Sunday’s loss increased Arrieta’s ERA to 1.80, per ESPN.com, trailing only Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Chicago still holds a comfortable lead in the National League Central and has the best record in the majors by a solid margin. Despite losing a pair of fluke games with their best pitcher on the mound, the Cubs continue to rack up wins. They’ll be fine.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Cubs’ 23-Game Win Streak with Jake Arrieta Starting Snapped vs. Dodgers

The Chicago Cubs have finally tasted defeat when Jake Arrieta takes the mound, as the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ 5-0 victory Tuesday night at Wrigley Field snapped the team’s 23-game winning streak with the 30-year-old ace starting.

Arrieta remains undefeated on the year at 9-0, however. Clayton Richard was credited with the loss.

Entering Tuesday, Arrieta and the Cubs were tied for the longest win streak in major league history with Kris Medlen and the Atlanta Braves, who won 23 straight games in which he started from 2010 to 2012, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

Using data from Elias, ESPN Stats & Info provided a look at some of the pitchers Arrieta passed on his way to the top:

Arrieta pitched well enough Tuesday to give the Cubs a chance to surpass Medlen and the Braves, going seven innings and allowing only two hits while striking out eight.

The Cubs highlighted how his performance lowered his already outstanding ERA:

However, Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir was even better. He kept Chicago’s bats quiet by allowing only one hit in six innings while striking out seven.

Even though the Cubs saw their six-game winning streak come to an end Tuesday, they sit at a major league-best 35-15 for the season.

That is a testament to not only how well the team has been playing but also Arrieta’s dominance. Chicago hadn’t lost a game Arrieta started since July 25, 2015, and that was a small blemish on what turned out to be a Cy Young Award-winning season.

Though Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is lurking with a National League-best 1.56 ERA, Arrieta could be on his way to a second straight Cy Young Award if he keeps throwing this well all season.

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Jake Arrieta Discusses Potential Contract Extension, Value of Starting Pitching

Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta has been the hottest pitcher on the planet since the beginning of last season. 

Once a little-known back-end starter with the Baltimore Orioles, Arrieta was dealt in 2013 to Chicago, where he transformed into a Cy Young Award winner and one of the most unhittable pitchers the game has seen in this millennium.

Arrieta is signed with the Cubs only through 2017, though, and is making $10.7 million this season preceding a year of arbitration, per Spotrac. That means he is poised to make some big bucks, whether it be through a long-term contact extension with the Cubs or in free agency.  

When asked Wednesday if he was worth $175 million—like the deal Stephen Strasburg signed with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, per Bill Ladson of MLB.com—Arrieta said, “I’ll let you judge that. Just look at the numbers,” per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. 

Arrieta has answered a 22-6 Cy Young campaign in which he posted a 1.77 ERA with a 6-0 start and a 1.13 ERA, far better than any season Strasburg has posted in his seven years in the league despite his solid 5-0 start in 2016. 

There are not many pitchers who can perform at Arrieta’s level, which is why he’s expecting to be rewarded with a big contract:

That’s why starting pitching is so valuable. There’s not many guys that can pitch at the top of the rotation floating around the league… aces get 7 years… Financially I’m fine, regardless. You want to be paid in respect to how your peers are paid. I don’t think that changes with any guy you ask. It happens around baseball every year.

Rogers noted that a deal for Arrieta, whose agent is Scott Boras, will be in the range of around $200 million, and he won’t be generous when negotiating with the Cubs. Arrieta answered questions on whether he’d give the Cubs a hometown discount with a quick “no.”

He added: “The misconception is that Scott wants everyone to go to free agency. I made it clear I like Chicago. I think everyone knows that. If I had it my way, I’d stay here. That’s just one side of the story. We’ll see.”

If he had it his way though, Arrieta would like a new deal to get done “quickly.”

“Most of the focus has to stay on what we’re trying to accomplish today,” he said. “If we keep winning, those kinds of things work themselves out in time. If they want to talk, they know where I’m at, and we can get something going. … Let’s get it over with and go play.”

While Arrieta’s contract status looms, the Cubs are the best team in baseball with a 25-6 record, as general manager Theo Epstein has pieced together an early juggernaut that is an early favorite to win the National League

It’s imperative the Cubs keep Arrieta in order to keep up with the strong pitching teams in the National League, such as the New York Mets and Washington Nationals. If he continues this elite level of play and the Cubs manage to find new levels of success, then Arrieta will likely become a very wealthy man.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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