Jake Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, says he will discuss an extension with the Cubs next month when the two sides exchange arbitration figures, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers tweets. There have been rumblings of extension talk for over a year between Arrieta and the Cubs, but the two sides haven’t reached a deal, and reportedly hadn’t come close to one as of last April.
After his brilliant Cy Young season in 2015, the 30-year-old Arrieta was modestly — but only modestly — disappointing in 2016, posting a 3.10 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 over 197 1/3 innings. He’s had three straight strong seasons in Chicago, though, and still appears likely to cash in if he waits until he’s eligible for free agency at the end of next season. He’s currently set to make a projected $16.8MM next season through the arbitration process.
There’s ample precedent for extensions for star pitchers with five-plus years of service time — Boras negotiated a $175MM deal for Stephen Strasburg last May, and he would probably aim in that direction for Arrieta, who has had more recent success than Strasburg but is also two years older than Strasburg was at the time of his deal. Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels and Homer Bailey have also signed nine-figure deals with five-plus years of service time.