MLBTR’s model had projected Arrieta to earn $16.8MM, but as MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz explained recently, it seemed likelier that he’d land closer to the $16MM level when analyzing comps. The deal exceeds the $15.525MM contract reached by Max Scherzer and the Tigers before the 2014 season, though unsurprisingly Arrieta comes nowhere near the year-over-year raise achieved that year by Scherzer.
It remains unclear whether Chicago will be able to work out a longer-term arrangement with the talented righty, who is now 30 years of age. He didn’t come anywhere near repeating his 2015 Cy Young campaign in his most recent season, but Arrieta still turned in a productive year. Over 197 1/3 innings, he pitched to a 3.10 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.