Jake Arrieta beat out Zack Greinke for the 2015 NL Cy Young Award and now the Chicago Cubs’ ace wants the runner-up to come to the North Side.
Greinke, who received 10 first-place votes in the Cy Young voting, is currently a free agent after opting out of his deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in October. The 32-year-old starter is one of several top pitching free agents available this offseason and with the Cubs in desperate need of at least one more pitcher, Greinke is certainly an option.
A week ago, it was reported that the Cubs would be meeting Greinke’s agent, as well as representatives for other top free agent pitchers. The team is doing their due diligence, exploring all possible options, and meeting with agents is commonly done by all teams during this time so no one can really gage how serious the interest is for Greinke. That being said, Arrieta is ready to recruit him to the Cubs.
Arrieta said he would be willing to help the Cubs recruit Greinke.
“I would assume a phone call might be made, at least,” Arrieta said. “We’d love to have him.”
Greinke ended the 2015 regular season with a 1.66 ERA in 222.2 innings. His 0.84 WHIP also led MLB to go along with the lowest ERA in baseball since Greg Maddux finished the 1995 season with a 1.63 ERA. There’s no question he’ll receive a lot of attention and obviously a huge contract. But will it be from the Cubs? They should at least be looking into it, Arrieta said.
The Cubs won 97 games in Joe Maddon’s first season as manager and advanced to the NLCS. Unfortunately, the need for another starter was exposed against the New York Mets and that’s why Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer has said the team is definitely looking for pitching this offseason.
Maddon, who won NL Manager Of The Year, said the same thing.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Wednesday aptly coined his team’s motto this offseason.
“We’re going shopping at Pitchers R Us,” Maddon cracked during an interview on the Spiegel and Goff Show.
“I’ve always believed you can never have enough pitching or never have too much pitching,” Maddon said. “You can never have enough of that. Injuries occur — you might lose a third baseman or a catcher or whatever during the course of a season that you’re able to get through — but if you’re losing really good starting, going down, or even bullpen depth goes down to back it up, it becomes a lot more difficult.”
The Cubs know first-hand how a great rotation can dominate a short series in the postseason, after getting swept by the Mets for a chance to reach the World Series. Whether it’s Greinke, or one of the other free agent pitchers, the Cubs will be active this offseason to fill their need.
If the Cubs do pursue Greinke, they’ll have to write a huge paycheck. Greinke is projected to get five or six years for as much as $30 million a season. Arrieta believes the Cubs should no doubt be exploring.
“I think any team that doesn’t at least make a phone call would be foolish,” Arrieta said.
Greinke would be a solid fit with the Cubs and their blossoming young core of offensive talent. The Cubs could dream of a rotation headed by Arrieta, Greinke and Jon Lester.
We’ll see, as the winter meetings begin in a few weeks down in Nashville. That’s when things will really start to heat up.