Chicago Cubs Rumors: How Much Is Jake Arrieta Getting In Arbitration?

Chicago Cubs rumors are addressing just how much money Jake Arrieta will receive in arbitration. Arrieta and the Cubs haven’t come to terms on a long-term contract extension, leaving it up to an arbitrator to decide how much the ace starting pitcher deserves to make in the 2017 MLB season. A report by baseball analyst Matt Swartz seeks to break down exactly what could take place, including the fact that Arrieta is about to receive a huge raise from the Cubs.

During the 2016 MLB season, Jake Arrieta went 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA, a 1.084 WHIP, and 190 strikeouts. He then won both starts against the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, helping Cubs fans see a championship for the first time in years. Now he is about to receive a huge monetary reward for putting up All-Star numbers again.

In his second arbitration season, Arrieta earned $10.7 million, which was a bump of about $7.1 million over the 2015 MLB season. He could see a similar bump in salary during arbitration this time as well. Matt Schwartz estimates that Arrieta will receive a $6.1 million raise, bumping his salary to about $16.8 million for the 2017 MLB season. Even that salary might be considered “cheap” in an expensive market for starting pitchers.

Jake Arrieta During 2016 World Series
[Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

The Chicago Cubs worked hard to avoid the last round of arbitration with Jake Arrieta, coming to terms on a one-year deal for $10.7 million for 2016. The two sides could wind up agreeing to a deal to avoid arbitration again, but time is starting to run out on negotiations. A hearing will likely take place at the beginning of February if no contract is in place.

At that point Arrieta’s agent would submit a salary request and the Cubs front office would submit another one. The arbitrator would then decide which salary Arrieta deserves to make during the 2017 MLB season. The arbitrator would weigh what Arrieta made last season, how good the numbers were he put up for the Cubs, and how much similar players have made around baseball. Heading into an arbitration might be a bad negotiating tactic for the Cubs.

Bad feelings can emerge from arbitration hearings, as the intent of the team is to show why a player shouldn’t earn as much money as he is requesting. This means taking a negative slant in negotiations, including statements about Jake Arrieta not performing as well as he had in the past. That’s what could make these Chicago Cubs rumors particularly important because it underscores how important a long-term contract extension could be for both sides.

Jake Arrieta Pitching For Chicago Cubs
[Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]

So how much does Arrieta deserve to be paid by the Cubs? A list of the top salaries in Major League Baseball becomes very valuable here, showing that the Cubs have had Arrieta at a relative discount since being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles. Seven pitchers (including one on the Cubs) will make salaries North of $25 million this year.

For the 2017 MLB season, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers leads the way at about $36.8 million. He is followed by Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks ($34 million), David Price of the Boston Red Sox ($30 million), Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers ($28 million), Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners ($26.9 million), Jon Lester of the Cubs ($25 million) and C.C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees ($25 million). That salary list doesn’t even count the top paid position players. There are seven additional pitchers that make more than $20 million for the upcoming year.

It’s difficult to quantify just how important Jake Arrieta has been for the Cubs, but it is clear that he is the ace of the pitching staff and an important component for the franchise to keep in place moving forward. Failing to lock him into a long-term contract extension could also force fans to deal with Chicago Cubs rumors about the team possibly losing Arrieta to free agency next year.

[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]