Jake Arrieta has made it abundantly clear through the media that he and his family loves Chicago and would like to sign a long-term extension with the Cubs.
As much as Arrieta would like to stay with the Cubs, he said Wednesday he will not be giving a hometown discount to sign extension. Arrieta is under club control through the 2017 season and is making $10.7 million this year. Arrieta should be paid around $20 million next year in his last arbitration season before free agency.
Jake Arrieta and Theo Epstein had to address his contract and extension talks after another one of Scott Boras’ clients, Stephen Strasburg, inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals when he was set to test free agency after this season.
Strasburg’s deal is not a good comp for an extension with Arrieta. Strasburg doesn’t quite have the resume that Arrieta does even though he is two and a half years younger than the Cubs’ ace.
According to multiple reports, Scott Boras has used the seven-year, $210 million contract Max Scherzer signed with the Nationals as the starting point in talks with the Cubs about an extension for Arrieta.
Theo Epstein confirmed to the beat writers that the Cubs are not any closer to signing Arrieta to an extension as the team was in Spring Training.
The Cubs would reportedly prefer to sign Arrieta to a four-year extension. Arrieta is looking for seven years. Arrieta wants fair market value and does not know if the front office would sign a pitcher for the number of years he would like on his next contract. Arrieta has talked directly to the front office about his contract. He hasn’t left all of the discussions up to his agent.
Bruce Levine reported that the Cubs discussed a four-year, $84 million contract extension with Arrieta in the off-season, an AAV of $21 million.
The front office has built a pitching staff with Jake Arrieta at the top of it that has a two-year window within the long-range window for the Cubs to reach the organization’s ultimate goal.
If the two sides cannot agree on a long-term extension, Arrieta, at the very least, will be with the Cubs through the 2017 season.
In bullet point format, here are highlights and links, from the numerous reports Wednesday …
- Arrieta “hinted that he’s worth more” than the contract Stephen Strasburg signed.
- Arrieta said “aces get seven years.”
- “You want to be paid in respect to how your peers are paid. I don’t think that changes with any guy you ask. It happens around baseball every year.”
- In a perfect world, Arrieta would like to get an extension done quickly. “Let’s get it over with and go play.”
- Arrieta did not rule out negotiating an extension during the season.
- Arrieta said if the front office wants to talk “they know where I’m at and we can get something going.”
- Arrieta pointed out that it did not feel right that he was standing in the Cubs clubhouse talking about his contract while his teammates were preparing to play two games against the Padres.
- Comcast SportsNet – What the Stephen Strasburg deal means for Cubs and Jake Arrieta
- ESPN Chicago – Jake Arrieta: Worth more than Strasburg, won’t give discount to Cubs
- Bruce Levine – Jake Arrieta: No Hometown Discount for Cubs on Long-Term Deal
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs: Where things stand with Jake Arrieta after Stephen Strasburg’s Megadeal
- Buster Olney – Cubs, Arrieta headed for contract showdown
Unlike many athletes, Arrieta does not give cliché answers to questions. He speaks his mind. Arrieta continues to be asked about his contract. He’s not searching out the publicity or talking through the media to the front office.
Jake Arrieta said most of his focus is on helping the Cubs win games and what the team is trying to accomplish. “If we keep winning, those kinds of things all work themselves out in time.”