Recent reports indicated that the Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta barely had any contact during the offseason and any contract talk was nonexistent. However, according to Jon Heyman, the Cubs apparently made a big offer to Arrieta, who turned it down.
The Cubs signed Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million contract, with an opt-out after the second year and incentives that could make the deal worth $150 million. A similar deal was proposed to Arrieta, who said no, according to Heyman.
Via Heyman of FanRag Sports.
The Chicago Cubs were down the road with Yu Darvish, but before they completed a deal, Cubs baseball president Theo Epstein, respectfully, put in one last call to the Cubs’ star free agent Jake Arrieta for one last, long-shot chance to see if — if need be — they could extend Arrieta’s career with a deal believed to be similar to the one offered to Darvish should Darvish turn them down.
Darvish was the focus by that point, but with some uncertainty about whether he’d take the deal, Epstein made the call to Arrieta to see where he stood. And to no one’s surprise, while Arrieta surely appreciated the gesture, he wasn’t immediately prepared to accept a six-year deal for what was believed to be for a similar annual salary, which was important for the Cubs, who are intent on staying under the $197 million threshold that has become an impediment in the free-agent market.
Remember, Arrieta has pitched less than Darvish and has put up better numbers in the past few years, obviously helped by that insane 2015 season, but turning down a six-year deal? I know he’s a Scott Boras client and ever since 2015, the agent has been talking about trying to get Arrieta a Max Scherzer-type contract, but boy does this seem a little odd.
If you go back to November, initial projections for Arrieta had him at about four or five years and $25 million on average. At no point did anyone expect to see Arrieta get more than Darvish, so it’s quite interesting to see that he would turn down a six-year contract, especially because we’re basically at the start of spring training.
The other thing is, nothing has been reported before about the Cubs having serious discussions with Arrieta this offseason and suddenly Theo Epstein offers him six years? As a matter of fact, last week there were two reports (USA TODAY, FanGraphs) that the Cubs hadn’t really spoken with Arrieta.
So, could this new report be some kind of favor from the Cubs to Arrieta because the assumption is that something must be wrong with the pitcher if the organization that he’s been with for the past 4.5 years didn’t appear at all interested in bringing him back?
This feels more like the Cubs trying to help Jake out against a possible "If the Cubs didn't want him back something must be wrong with him" narrative than anything else
— Jay Rigdon (@jayrigdon5) February 12, 2018
But let’s say it is true, Arrieta has to be pretty confident that he’s going to get a better deal from someone else, right? Unless he simply didn’t want to come back? That’s all speculation though. From what we know, Arrieta did say publicly that he wanted to remain with the Cubs, but it appears as though their offer wasn’t good enough.
But again, it doesn’t seem like this Cubs office to all of a sudden make an offer after four months of nothing. There is definitely more to this story.
So, how do fans feel about this, again assuming it’s true? (I’m not buying it) Scott Boras totally made this up, right?