Jake Arrieta’s agreement on a one-year, $15.6375MM deal this week suggests his time with the Cubs could be reaching its end, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago writes. Arrieta is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, and his agent, Scott Boras, had previously said he and the Cubs would talk about an extension when the two sides discussed Arrieta’s 2017 salary this month. “The timeline is kind of coming to an end as far as as leading up to free agency,” Arrieta said yesterday. “I am here for one more year and I am going to enjoy every moment of it.” Still, he didn’t rule out the possibility that the two sides could still reach a deal. “If it happens, it happens. I don’t know where we stand. I really don’t. We do have some time to maybe work something out. If it doesn’t, I will become a free agent,” he said. Here’s more from out of Chicago.
- The Cubs have announced that they’ve hired David Ross as a special assistant to baseball operations. The 39-year-old Ross, of course, retired as a player after a strong 2016 season capped with a World Series Game 7 homer, and he’s beloved in Chicago. (He carried the World Series trophy at the beginning of this weekend’s Cubs Convention yesterday.) He’s looking forward to his new role, which seems open-ended — MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat writes that Ross will contribute in a variety of roles, including scouting, development and front-office work. “I don’t even know what I’m doing,” Ross says. “I feel like there’s a hall-of-fame front office and a relationship with guys who I have a bond with. They offered to help me grow in my baseball knowledge and try to learn different aspects of what goes on in the organization. I’m really going to be listening.”
- The Cubs recently lost out on Tyson Ross to the Rangers, but president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says the team still hopes to add starting pitching, as MLB.com’s Phil Rogers tweets. The Cubs “made it a difficult decision” for Ross, extending him an offer similar to the $6MM plus incentives he got from Texas, tweets CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney. Ross, formerly a top starter with the Padres, could have provided a strong back-end option for the Cubs provided he’d made a solid comeback from the shoulder troubles that cost him most of his 2016 season and resulted in surgery in October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.