Jake Arrieta is coming off a career-year. Arrieta emerged as the top starter on the Cubs staff and posted a 10-5 record in 25 starts with a 2.53 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 2.26 FIP. Arrieta struck out 167 batters with 41 walks in 156 2/3 innings. Arrieta has been very good with the Cubs under Chris Bosio’s tutelage since the trade from Baltimore in 2013.
Arrieta said in August he would like to stay in Chicago and would be interested in signing a long-term extension with the Cubs, even if it meant overriding the advice from his agent Scott Boras. Arrieta likes the direction the team is going in, and that was before the additions the front office has made this off-season.
After the Cubs agreed to terms with Jon Lester, Arrieta said he was looking forward to working with Lester and new manager Joe Maddon.
Scott Boras was asked about discussing a contract extension with the Cubs for Jake Arrieta last week. Boras told Comcast SportsNet “any potential extension talks for Arrieta would probably have to wait until January or February.” Boras has one priority right now and that’s finding a team willing to commit a whole bunch of money and years to Max Scherzer.
The timeframe Boras gave would coincide with the deadline for players and teams to exchange salary arbitration numbers (Jan. 16).
Jake Arrieta is arbitration eligible for the first time and remains under team control through the 2017 season. Arrieta made $544,500 last year and is in line for a pay increase to around $3.9-4.2 million for 2015.
Reports from Japan on Thursday indicated RHP Kenta Maeda will not be playing in the majors next season. The Hiroshima Carp told Maeda he will not be posted this winter.
Reports in November indicated Maeda would likely be posted and the Cubs were believed to be interested in him. The 26-year old right hander can be posted next off-season.
Kenta Maeda does not become a free agent after the 2017 season.
The Voice of the South Bend Cubs
The Cubs new Low-A affiliate, the South Bend Cubs, announced Thursday that Darin Pritchett was named the team’s play-by-play broadcaster for the 2015 season. All of the South Bend Cubs games will be available on WSBT 960 AM, WSBT 96.1 FM, WSBTRadio.com, SouthBendCubs.com and the WSBT Radio app.
Pritchett is the sports director at WSBT and has been with the station for 16 years. After graduating from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1994, Pritchett was an assistant producer for KMOX in St. Louis for Cardinals broadcasts.
The South Bend Cubs begin its season on April 9 at Four Winds Field against Bowling Green.
News, Notes and Rumors
Jake Peavy agreed to terms on a two-year, $24 million contract to return to the Giants. Peavy will make $7 million in 2015 and $13 million in 2016. Peavy received a $4 million signing bonus and a full no-trade clause.
Jon Lester talked about the comparison Theo Epstein made to Andy Pettitte on The Score and the Tribune posted his comments.
And Jon Lester spent time Thursday on ESPN 1000 and discussed what it will mean for the entire organization when the Cubs win a championship.
Jason Motte told Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio the “biggest selling point with the Cubs was the opportunity to help out late in the game, whether that’s the seventh, eighth or ninth inning. Closing would be great, I’d like to get back to that one day. If that’s next year, that’s great, I’m not expecting anything.”
David O’Brien thinks the Braves will still trade Justin Upton. Atlanta might not receive “Major League-ready types they sought initially, but at least a couple of big-upside prospects.”
The Royals signed RHP Kris Medlen to a two-year deal with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Medlen’s contract is worth $8.5 million. Medlen will be paid $2 million in 2015 and $5.5 million in 2016, and the contract includes a $4 million incentives package for 2015 and a $6 million incentives package for the 2016 season. The mutual option is for $10 million and includes $1 million buyout if either the Royals or Medlen declines the option.
Former Cubs skipper Mike Quade is being considered for a job in the Twins system, manager of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. Quade is currently the roving outfielder/baserunning coach for the New York Yankees.
Carrie Muskat had fun with numbers.
After the Ruggiano trade, the Cubs set up next moves according to Comcast SportsNet.
Jerry Crasnick looked at teams paying an arm and a leg for relief.
J.J. Cooper posted a must-read on the history of PTBNL in trades relating to Trea Turner being included in the 11-player, Wil Myers deal.
Tyler Kepner: A Salute to Sy Berger, From a Card-Carrying Fan
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Mitch Maier
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Jonathan Sanchez
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Bobby Scales
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Esmailin Caridad
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Marquis
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Kent Mercker
2003 – Cubs acquired Jose Macias from the Expos for Wilton Chavez
2003 – Grant DePorter, the managing partner of Harry Caray Restaurants, submitted the winning bid of $106,600 to acquire the foul ball deflected in Game Six of the 2003 NLCS by Steve Bartman.
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Moises Alou to a three-year, $27 million contract
2001 – Cubs traded Michael Tucker to the Royals for a PTBNL. Kansas City sent Shawn Sonnier to the Cubs on March 15, 2002 to complete the trade.
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Todd Hundley
1995 – Cubs re-signed Mark Grace
1989 – Cubs signed free agent Greg Booker
1945 – Geoff Zahn, born
1944 – Rob Gardner, born
1935 – Tony Taylor, born