Jd, phenomenal work. Great research and analysis on the development process and statistical analysis of Jake Arrieta’s career. An interesting and obviously relevant discussion needs to be had within the Cubs’ front-office as to the club’s future financial obligations. Strasburg got 7 yrs / $175 million from the Nationals earlier this offseason and that deal will obviously be the starting point from which Arrieta’s negotiation begins. The club already has Jon Lester signed through 2020 at $25+ million a year but I am not as optimistic as to the depth of the Cubs’ starting pitching. Lackey is likely done after the 2017 season, when his 2 yr / $32 million deal expires. The Cubs have several years of control left with Bryant, Russell & Schwarber. Rizzo is signed through 2019, to what now looks like a bargain, via a 7 yr / $41 million extension signed in 2013.
Overall the front-office has prepared this team to have a great shot at a long-term dynasty. Outside of the Lester & Heyward contracts, the team has spent frugally on FAs. The real question is whether the Cubs believe Arrieta will be the guy he’s been over the past calendar year, going forward or not. In my opinion, the Cubs will end up signing him to a record deal, with an opt-out; as has been the case with recent elite free-agent SPs in their prime.
Prediction: Cubs agree to a 7 yr. / $250 million contract with Jake Arrieta, after Arrieta tests the free-agent market this summer. Deal will include a player opt-out after three seasons, or the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Jake Arietta has quickly developed into a star during his time with the Chicago Cubs. Currently, Arrieta is considered one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers. The numbers speak for themselves, 9-0 with a 1.56 ERA so far this year. Does this mean big money? A player the Cubs must sign? A face of the franchise? I think not. And let me tell you why.
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