Jake Arrieta set a record Friday when he and the Cubs avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year, $10.7 million contract for the upcoming season. Arrieta received the biggest contract ever for a second year arbitration eligible pitcher surpassing the $10.112 million David Price made in 2013.
Prior to the Cubs avoiding arbitration with Arrieta, Bruce Levine reported the two sides had discussed a six-year extension in recent weeks. Arrieta and his family “are extremely happy” in Chicago. And Levine indicated Arrieta’s camp “would to resolve this all with a long-term contract.”
Arrieta is under club control for two more years. He is not a free agent until after the 2017 season.
Levine reported Sunday that with Arrieta signed for the upcoming season “a long-term contract done before the end of Spring Training makes even more sense for both sides going forward.” And he thinks a four-year deal that would pay Arrieta $85-90 million with two club options that could add another $50 million would make sense for the team and the player.
If Arrieta has another Cy Young-caliber season, Levine pointed to him maxing out at around $30 million for his final two arbitration years. Levine explained that a four-year contract “averaging $23 million a year, automatically realizes $46 million or at least $16 million more that can be projected for the pitcher in the first two years of the contract.”
The Cubs may want to see how Arrieta performs this season after a year in which he completed the most innings of his career for a single-season. But Levine doesn’t think Scott Boras would let Arrieta consider a long-term extension next off-season because by then he would be a year (12 months) away from free agency.
No matter what happens over the next six weeks with a possible extension, the Cubs avoided arbitration with Jake Arrieta by signing him to a record contract and kept Spring Training from starting on a bad note.
Cubs/Baseball Calendar- Important Dates
- 1-21 – Salary Arbitration Hearings
- 15 – End of waiver period (Nov. 11, 2015 – Feb. 15, 2016) Outright Waivers secured on or after Nov. 11, 2015 expire at 12:00pm CST on the seventh day after waivers are obtained or 4:00pm CST on Feb. 15, 2016, whichever is earlier
- 16 – Beginning of new waiver period (Feb. 16 – May 2) Outright Waivers secured on or after Feb. 16, 2016 remain in effect for 7 days or until 4:00pm CST, May 2, 2016 (the 30th day of the 2016 season), whichever is earlier. Optional Waivers secured on or after Feb. 16 remain in effect until 4:00pm CST on the 30th day of the 2016 season (May 2, 2016).
- 18 – Voluntary Reporting Date for Pitchers and Catchers
- 19 – Cubs pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training
- 20 – First Official On-Field Work out for Cubs Pitchers and Catchers
- 23 – Cubs position players report to Spring Training
- 23 – Voluntary Reporting Date for Position Players
- 24 – Cubs First Official Full Squad Work Out of Spring Training
- 26 – Cubs Single Game Tickets for 2016 Season Go On Sale
- 1 – Mandatory reporting date
- 2-11 – Clubs may renew contracts of unsigned players
- 3 – Cubs Cactus League Opener vs. Brewers in Maryvale
- 4 – Cubs Cactus League Home Opener vs. Angels at Sloan Park
- 18 – Last day to request unconditional Release Waivers for a player and play only 30 days’ termination pay
- 25 – Earliest date a team may backdate placement of a player on the 15-day Major League disabled list
- 2 – Last day to request unconditional Release Waivers for a player without having to pay full 2016 salary (Players with non-guaranteed contracts released between March 19 and April 2 receive 45 days termination pay)
- 3 – Opening Day of 2016 MLB Season – All teams must reduce their active rosters to 25 players
- 4 – Opening Day vs. Angels at Angel Stadium
- 9 – First date a player placed on Major League disabled list during Spring Training may be activated
- 11 – Cubs Home Opener vs. Reds at Wrigley Field
- 13 – First date a player optioned to minors during Spring Training may be recalled (11th day of season)
News and Notes
• Jon Paul Morosi posted a report on the 10 biggest storylines in baseball as Spring Training approaches … and No. 1 on his list, the Chicago Cubs.
• According to Peter Gammons, bullpen proves vital as pendulum of dominance continues toward pitching.
• Jayson Stark asked what is fueling baseball’s Bullpen Mania. Joe Maddon talked about using relievers and building a bullpen around a rotation. And Stark provided stats as to why some starters just simply cannot face a team a third time through the lineup.
• New Cardinals’ beat writer for ESPN, Mark Saxon reported the Cardinals quiet off0season shows the front office has confidence on the players currently on the roster. The Cardinals just can’t stop talking about the Cubs.
• Gordon Wittenmyer reported the Cubs are positioned for the DH in the National League.
• Anthony Iapoce is the Rangers’ sixth hitting coach in eight years, the Cubs former minor league hitting coordinator, has plans on how to improve Texas’ offense. Jason McLeod and the front office did not want Iapoce to leave the organization that he’s helped change the culture of over the last three years.
• According to Ken Rosenthal, MLB players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic beverages. Rosenthal reached out to a MLB agent and asked about the rules in baseball after Peyton Manning, who owns a portion of two Budweiser distributorships, said on multiple occasions after the Broncos won the Super Bowl that he was going to drink a lot of Budweiser beer.
And last, but not least, Major League Baseball released a hype video for the 2016 season … but it’s missing highlights from a certain team. Click here and see for yourself.
This Day in Cubstory
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Scott McClain
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Greg McMichael
1993 – Cubs signed free agent Steve Lyons
1993 – Cubs signed free agent Craig Worthington
1990 – Andrew McKirahan, born
1985 – Felix Pie, born
1955 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Don Kaiser
1954 – Joe Maddon, born
1951 – Steve Dillard, born