While he’s currently the ace of the Chicago Cubs pitching staff, Jake Arrieta set off a firestorm of speculation after he indicated he would need more than Stephen Strasburg’s new 7-year, $175 million deal when he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season.
Over his last 27 starts, the right-hander has a 0.92 earned run average and while he expressed his fondness for the Windy City, Arrieta also made it clear there would be no hometown discount on a new contract.
So will he leave the Cubs? Could he wind up in St. Louis?
Time will tell, but here’s five reasons to at least think it could be interesting…
5. While he may have graduated from high school in Plano, TX but Jake Arrieta was born in Farmington, MO which is less than 100 miles away from St. Louis. Nothing like getting back to your roots to finish off your career.
3. The Cardinals put together a sizeable contract offer for David Price this past off-season. The lefty wound up with 7-years and $217 million from Boston, but St. Louis was reported to have been within $20-30 million of that. Could there be a little more to be added to an offer for Arrieta?
Price will turn 31 years old in August and entering the season had started 213 games and logged 1440 innings pitched.
Arrieta will be 31 years old when he becomes a free agent and is currently at 137 starts and 843 innings pitched. His numbers should be very much in line–if not even more favorable in terms of workload than that of Price if he continues his current pace.
If the Cardinals were willing to pursue Price, why wouldn’t they do the same for Arrieta?
2. Adam Wainwright is signed through 2018. This slow start aside, Waino has hinted that he might want to make up for missing last season with one more year. He’s also said in the past this would be his final contract. Either way, a season or two of overlap with the two couldn’t hurt. And while both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha look to be on their way to top of the rotation status, Arrieta would be a proven, Cy Young Award winning ace.
Mike Leake will still be under contract but the options will be up on Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn is also scheduled to be a free agent. Alex Reyes could be the future, but he’s yet to throw a pitch in the big leagues.
1. Karma is a…
Let’s face it, signing Arrieta away from Chicago could be more than payback for the Cubs getting both Jason Heyward and John Lackey. Signing a top player away from a divisional rival always has an extra value to it.
photo credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports, Charles Rex Arbogast-AP