The Chicago Cubs had a very good three days. After Kris Bryant was unanimously named the NL Rookie of the Year on Monday, the BBWAA voted Joe Maddon the National League Manager of the Year. And Wednesday, Jake Arrieta topped Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw to win the National League Cy Young Award.
The Cubs went 3-for-3 in the BBWAA Awards and completed a trifecta for the first time in 31 years.
Jake Arrieta was 22-6 in 33 starts during the regular season with a 1.77 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Arrieta allowed 52 runs, 45 earned, on 150 hits with 48 walks and 236 strikeouts in 229 innings. Arrieta put together the best second half in the history of the game and now has the hardware to show for his efforts.
After the break, Arrieta was 12-1 in 15 starts with a 0.75 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. Arrieta gave up 12 runs, nine earned, on 55 hits with 23 walks and 113 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings. Arrieta completed the first no hitter of his career and thrived in the spotlight.
Arrieta’s career-high in innings may have led to him not being as sharp in October as he was throughout the second half and in the Wild Card Game against the Pirates. Arrieta admitted fatigue affected his performance and compared what he was going through to a dead arm. Arrieta thinks that throwing as many innings as he did this past season and in the playoffs for the first time will help prepare him to do it again.
Arrieta said in a conference call that extension talks with the Cubs this winter are inevitable. Arrieta is under team control for two more years and would not give a prediction on how those talks may go.
Arrieta’s teammates including David Ross, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Jon Lester, Kris Bryant, Jason Hammel, Justin Grimm, Miguel Montero, Kyle Schwarber, players in the organization and coaches tweeted congratulations Wednesday night. And Todd Hollandsworth credited Arrieta for being the number one reason the plan accelerated this past season.
- Report from the Tribune
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from Scott Miller
- Report from Bruce Levine
- Jake Arrieta’s Ridiculously Good, Historic Season
In the American League, the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel won the Cy Young Award over David Price and the A’s Sonny Gray. Chris Sale of the White Sox finished fourth and the Rays’ Chris Archer was fifth in the voting for the top pitcher award in the Junior Circuit.
The Cubs are interested in a reunion with Jeff Samardzija and based on multiple reports the right hander would like to re-sign with the Cubs. And there was a little fuel added to the rumors of Samardzija possibly returning to the Cubs.
According to a report from Phil Rogers, Theo Epstein and Jeff Samardzija were seen hanging out Wednesday night.
Despite the poor season on the South Side, Samardzija is expected to sign a multi-year contract. The Cubs are just one of the teams that have been connected rather heavily to Samardzija in recent weeks.
The Mets are “very interested” in signing Ben Zobrist. According to a report from The Score citing the New York Times as its source, “Zobrist engaged in a conference call with the Mets on Wednesday.” The Mets are one of the teams that talked to his agent, Alan Nero, during the GM Meetings.
Earlier in the day, the New York Daily News reported Zobrist is likely going to cost too much for the Mets. The report indicated Zobrist could sign a three- to four-year contract in the $40-50 million range. And that would be more than the Metropolitans would like to spend for Zobrist.
Darren O’Day is looking to get paid. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, O’Day is “asking for a four-year deal in the $28-36 million range.”
The Mets and Red Sox have expressed interest in O’Day. Mike Puma reported the Mets “most likely won’t go there” for O’Day in response to the information from Rosenthal. Boston could overpay for another arm for the backend of the bullpen. O’Day is believed to still be a target for the Sox even with the addition of Craig Kimbrel.
Reports have connected O’Day to the Cubs but spending that much on a reliever would not be a good way for the front office to spend its free agent dollars this winter.
According to Jayson Stark, O’Day is not the only veteran reliever looking for a rather large payday. Stark reported Joaquin Soria “is looking for a contract in the vicinity of three years, $27 million.”
Committing more than two years to a reliever is not the best way for a team to allocate its payroll. But according to Jeff Sullivan, there’s nothing wrong with paying big for Darren O’Day.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Tyler Kepner pointed out the Cubs are not the only team with three BBWAA awards. Three of Scott Boras’ clients will receive hardware from the writers this week. Boras represents Kris Bryant (NL Rookie of the Year), Jake Arrieta (NL Cy Young) and Bryce Harper (NL Most Valuable Player).
• Veteran outfielder Scott Hairston signed a minor league contract with the White Sox. The one-time Cubs outfielder did not play this past season and his deal with the Sox does not include a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Hairston is looking to work his way back to the majors.
• And speaking of former Cubs’ outfielders, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo made it official Wednesday. Jacque Jones has been added to Dusty Baker’s coaching staff. Jones will be the team’s assistant hitting coach. Rick Schu stayed on as the Nationals’ hitting coach.
• Jon Greenberg asked, what will Joe Maddon do for an encore?
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Yankees are among the teams “to have at least preliminary trade talks with the Indians.” Cleveland would acquire an everyday outfielder and “part with a starting pitcher” in the deal. Morosi indicated there are “many scenarios in play for Cleveland.”
• Dave Cameron took a look at the price of parting with prospects.
• According to Paul Hoynes, RHP Justin Masterson is drawing interest from teams. Masterson is a free agent and recovering from right shoulder surgery.
• The Brewers traded veteran closer Francisco Rodriguez to Detroit for minor league prospect INF Javier Betancourt and a PTBNL. Betancourt entered last season as the Tigers’ 20th best prospect according to Baseball America.
• And the Brewers could matchup with the Padres in a deal for a shortstop. Dennis Lin reported with Orlando Arcia pushing his way to the majors, Jean Segura and Luis Sardinas are likely available.
• The Reds hope to trade Aroldis Chapman before the Winter Meetings.
• Rob Bradford reported David Ortiz’s decision to retire did not alter the Red Sox off-season plans.
• Free agent Doug Fister is drawing interest from the Tigers, among other teams, according to Buster Olney.
• Jim Stevenson is the Astros’ scout that drafted Dallas Keuchel. While he was with the Brewers, Stevenson drafted Jake Arrieta in 2005 but he did not sign. Arrieta was taken in the fifth round of the 2007 draft by the Orioles. And according to Keith Law, Stevenson also signed Yovani Gallardo.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Chris Valaika
2013 – Cubs released Dave Sappelt
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Shawn Camp
2009 – Cubs signed free agent John Grabow
2009 – Cubs traded Aaron Heilman to the Diamondbacks for Ryne White and Scott Maine
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Kevin Orie
1982 – Jonathan Sanchez, born
1981 – Jeff Gray, born
1979 – John-Ford Griffin, born
1966 – Jeff Hartsock, born
1956 – Dickie Noles, born
1951 – Cubs selected Harvey Gentry from the Giants in the Rule 5 Draft
1951 – Cubs selected Bud Hardin from the Cardinals in the Rule 5 Draft
1938 – Manny Jimenez, born