Jake Arrieta's Deal with the Cubs Includes a Mutual Option for 2022

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Jake Arrieta’s Deal with the Cubs Includes a Mutual Option for 2022

Chicago Cubs

Although not initially reported as a one year deal plus an option year, the detailed terms are coming out for the Jake Arrieta signing, which should be official later today.

The particulars include a mutual option for 2022:

Like we said with the Joc Pederson signing, which also includes a mutual option for 2022: this is *mostly* not a big deal. Unlike a player option or a club option, where one side gets to determine, unilaterally, whether the relationship continues for another year, a mutual option kicks in only if both sides are like, yeah, that price tag is exactly what I want.

It used to be the case that mutual options were a way to play around with the buyout – one side would have to make its decision first, and if the other side decided differently, it would impact whether the buyout was paid. This year, however, more teams are including mutual options with a fully-guaranteed buyout, which effectively makes the whole setup a glorified deferral. That is to say, because it’s so extraordinarily unlikely that the sides just HAPPENED to pick the perfect number for a 2022 salary a year in advance, the sides know it is extraordinarily unlikely that the option will actually be exercised. So, then, it’s a $6 million one-year deal, with $2 million deferred until after the season.

For cash flow purposes post-pandemic, and before fans return en masse, you can see why the Cubs would be interested in these kinds of deferrals.

That is all to say: yes, we have today learned that Jake Arrieta’s deal with the Cubs includes an option for 2022, but it is highly unlikely to ever actually matter. One or both sides won’t want that particular $10 million price tag for 2022, and Arrieta will become a free agent again after this season, if not earlier extended. And the Cubs will have simply been able to hold off on paying part of the contract until a little bit later.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.