Jake Arrieta is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and has helped lead the Chicago Cubs back to dominance. He is currently in the middle of what many believe could be the end of the Cubs' World Series curse. They are a long way away from making it to the World Series, but Theo Epstein has put together a team that should win the National League if they play up to their full potential.
While everyone is excited on the north side of Chicago, that could change quickly after the season ends. Jake Arrieta could leave the Cubs in 2017 MLB free agency. It isn't a sure thing that he will leave, but it has sounded like the Cubs and Arrieta are far apart on a dollar amount for a new deal.
According to a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today a few months back, Arrieta and the Cubs were a few years apart on a new deal. He would like to receive a seven-year deal, but the Cubs were willing to offer three or four years.
Throughout the course of the 2016 MLB season thus far, Arrieta has compiled a 13-5 record to go along with a 2.59 ERA. It certainly wasn't what many expected after the dominant start that he had to the season. Unfortunately, he hit a rut and was just recently able to break out of it.
One team to keep an eye on if Arrieta does test the open market is the Boston Red Sox. They just made a big move to sign David Price in free agency last offseason, but they have plenty of money to make a run at a guy like Arrieta. Seeing Price and Arrieta at the top of the Boston rotation would be scary for opposing teams.
Dan Schmelzer of FanSided opined a few months back that the Red Sox could be one of the teams with interest in signing Arrieta. It is purely opinion at this point, but Boston has been mentioned in Arrieta rumors at an increasing rate.
At 30-years-old, Arrieta is still more than capable of performing at a high level for the next five years. A sixth or seventh year may be a bit too much, but if that is what it takes to sign him there will be offers of that length.
Many believe that Arrieta will end up re-signing with the Cubs when everything is said and done. Theo Epstein will not want to lose his ace pitcher. He has loved the Cubs' franchise and they have helped him turn everything around over the last couple of seasons.
Boston is certainly an intriguing destination for Arrieta if he does leave Chicago. There are plenty of teams that will be throwing big offers his way, but the Red Sox can offer a chance to contend for a World Series as well. They have a lot of money to spend and a talented roster to boast in a meeting with Arrieta.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors about the Cubs' star pitcher down the stretch of the season. If the Cubs do win the World Series but lose Arrieta, the fan base will be torn. That being said, ending the curse would help the Cubs' fans accept the loss of Arrieta should he choose to go that route.
Do you think the Boston Red Sox should pursue Jake Arrieta in free agency? Will Arrieta end up leaving the Chicago Cubs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar]