Jake Arrieta has been at the center of the MLB rumor mill over the past few weeks. There have been plenty of reports that he is expected to leave the Chicago Cubs when free agency opens up, but there have also been a lot of rumors that Theo Epstein and the Cubs would like to bring him back on a new deal.
Looking ahead at the upcoming free agency period, the Cubs should simply re-sign Arrieta rather than look elsewhere for pitching help.
Obviously, re-signing Arrieta will not fix all of the problems that the Cubs’ pitching staff has. They should still try to sign Alex Cobb in free agency to be their No. 5 arm. A rotation that is made up of Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Arrieta, and Cobb would be extremely solid for the Cubs.
Last season with the Cubs, Arrieta got off to a bit of a slow start. He got things together down the stretch, though, and was able to put together a solid all-around season. Arrieta also made a couple of good starts in the postseason.
Arrieta ended the 2017 regular season with a 14-10 record to go along with a 3.53 ERA. He struggled with some injury issues this year as well, which slowed down the hot stretch that he was on at the time.
Epstein has already said that he would like to re-sign Arrieta this offseason. Unfortunately, there is no telling how much money it will take to bring him back. It has been rumored that he is searching for the biggest deal he can possibly get, but perhaps a hometown discount could be in play.
Change is not always a good thing, especially when the Cubs’ pitching staff has helped get them to three straight NLCS appearances. At this point in time, Arrieta has not talked about wanting to remain in or leave Chicago. He has placed his Chicago home on the market, which many took as a sign that he is preparing to leave the Cubs.
If the Cubs do want to re-sign Arrieta, they will have quite a few teams to contend with. There are a number of teams expected to be lined up to sign Arrieta when free agency opens up. Among those teams are expected to be the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, and possibly even the Milwaukee Brewers.
All of that being said, the Cubs should do everything in their power to bring Arrieta back. Acquiring a pitcher like Chris Archer would be solid, but he is not as good of a fit as Arrieta has been for the Cubs.
Expect to see the Cubs show interest in re-signing Arrieta this offseason. Arrieta will not be easy to bring back for the Cubs, but he should be their No. 1 pitching option in free agency.
[Featured Image by Gene J. Puskar/AP Images]