Jake Arrieta has been one of the faces of the Chicago Cubs’ franchise over the past few years. After being acquired in an unheralded trade with the Baltimore Orioles, Arrieta worked his way into becoming one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. He also helped take the Cubs to a World Series win last season.
Much has been made about his upcoming free agency this offseason. Rumors have been flying that he will end up leaving the Cubs, but general manager Theo Epstein does not seem to share that sentiment.
According to Cubs.com beat writer Carrie Muskat, Epstein would like to re-sign Arrieta this offseason. Wade Davis is another player that Epstein would like to re-sign, after being one of the most dominant closers in baseball this season.
Re-signing Arrieta won’t come cheap for the Cubs. That shouldn’t be a problem, however, as Epstein and the Cubs have shown the willingness to pay big bucks in order to stay in championship contention.
John Lackey is another upcoming free agent from the Cubs’ rotation. At this point in time, it doesn’t sound like he is in the Cubs’ future plans. Arrieta, however, would be a huge signing for the Cubs and would keep their rotation solid with Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, and Jon Lester all slated to return in 2018.
Throughout the 2017 season with the Cubs, Arrieta got off to a slow start. He was able to pick things up later in the season, posting a 14-10 record to go along with a 3.53 ERA. Arrieta also stepped up in the postseason, keeping the Cubs alive with a big Game 4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NCLS, although the Cubs were eliminated in Game 5.
At 31-years-old, Arrieta still has quite a few years of baseball left to pitch. Chicago will face some competition in free agency for the star pitcher, as he is one of the top pitchers available on the market.
Needless to say, this news should excite fans. Epstein has a way of getting what he wants and re-signing Arrieta would be exactly what the Chicago fans want to see.
Expect to see Arrieta and the Cubs have an open dialogue early on in his free agency, and don’t be surprised if he ends up returning to the Cubs on a lucrative long-term deal.
Do you think Jake Arrieta will re-sign with the Chicago Cubs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
[Featured Image by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]