Yesterday, we took a look at a report suggesting that, while the Chicago Cubs were still interested in a reunion with former starter Jake Arrieta, the two sides are “off” on the number of years for a potential deal.
Here’s what I had to say at the time:
The Cubs, as recently as last Spring Training, were looking to add, at most, four years to the end of his team control, while Arrieta (represented by Scott Boras) suggested that 6-7 years is a more appropriate extension for former Cy Young award winners (in recent history, he’s kinda not wrong about that). Unfortunately, according to Heyman, the same debate exists today, and it’s put a pin in the conversations for now.
Needless to say, that’s a pretty big gap, and one that might be too large to ever actually bridge – at least, that’s how it sounds like Cubs Manager Joe Maddon is reading it it.
When asked how active he expects the team to be this offseason on 670 The Score this afternoon, Maddon suggested that the team will be as active as they’ve always been, but conceded, specifically, that “Jake’s probably gone.”
I don’t want to take passing comments too seriously – because, let’s be clear, there’s still a chance the Cubs and Jake Arrieta wind up together (the Cubs are in the market for mid-to-top of the rotation starters and Arrieta is one of the best ones out there). But, given his price tag and, again, preference for a longer deal, Maddon’s comments are telling, insofar as they at least add a little bit to what your gut was probably already feeling.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of top tier options aside from Arrieta, like Yu Darvish or even Shohei Ohtani, and even some quality second-tier arms, like Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn. And on top of those guys, the Cubs could always pull the trigger on a trade using one of their many young position players.
So while the door is far from closed on Arrieta, I wouldn’t hold your breath for a reunion at this point in time.