Jake Arrieta is one of the hottest names set to hit the open free agency market this offseason. He has been one of the faces of the Chicago Cubs over the past few seasons and seeing him elsewhere would seem strange. Theo Epstein and company would like to re-sign Arrieta, but they will have a lot of competition.
Back in 2015, Arrieta was the most dominant pitcher in baseball and won the National League Cy Young. He compiled a 22-6 record for the Cubs to go along with a 1.77 ERA. Unfortunately, the 2017 version of Arrieta was unable to put up those numbers for the Cubs.
In 2017, Arrieta finished the year with a 14-10 record and a 3.53 ERA. Chicago ended up being dispatched in the postseason by the Los Angeles Dodgers, which could have ended an amazing chapter of Arrieta’s career.
Looking ahead at the upcoming free agency period, Arrieta is going to be mentioned in a large number of rumors. There will be quite a few teams willing to offer big money and long years. Arrieta may not be the superstar that he was in 2015, but he is still more than capable of pitching like an ace.
All of that being said, which five teams could be ideal landing spots for Jake Arrieta in free agency this offseason?
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) November 6, 2017
First and foremost, the Cubs are without question one of the teams in the running for Arrieta. They are also a good fit for him and have made it clear that they would like to re-sign him. Arrieta loves the city of Chicago and owes the Cubs a lot, but they do not appear to be the front-runner to sign him at this point in time.
If the Houston Astros decide to upgrade their rotation, Arrieta could be a perfect addition. They already have Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel, who are capable of being aces. Bringing in Arrieta could form one of the most deadly rotations that baseball has seen in a long time.
Chicago could have a team in the NL Central trying to steal Arrieta away from them. Milwaukee is one of the top young teams in baseball, and adding a player like Arrieta would help them in a big way. Arrieta may not want to go from World Series contender to helping a young team build towards that goal, but they are the most intriguing destination on this list.
If Arrieta were to choose to sign with Philadelphia, it would likely be due to the contract that they offer him. Arrieta is going to be asking for a big contract and there are some contenders who many not be willing to trade it. Philadelphia may be willing to offer Arrieta more money and a longer deal than any other team, which makes them a team to watch.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be the front-runner at this point in time to sign Arrieta. They would be replacing Yu Darvish with Arrieta and he would take their rotation to a new level. A Clayton Kershaw and Arrieta one-two punch should be a nightmare for all opposing lineups.
Do you think Jake Arrieta will end up signing with one of the five teams mentioned above? If not, where do you think he will end up signing this offseason? Let us know your thoughts!
[Featured Image by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]