Stephen Strasburg recently inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals, which naturally has people wondering what kind of money Jake Arrieta could fetch either by signing an extension with the Cubs or by hitting free agency after the 2017 season.
Arrieta, 30, has by all measures been the better pitcher in recent years. He’s earning $10.7 million this season with one more year of arbitration eligibility left. How much could he get? “I’ll let you judge that,” he said to the media — including ESPN’s Jesse Rogers — on Wednesday morning. He added, “Just look at the numbers.”
Arrieta said he’s not necessarily looking to bolt from the Windy City. “I made it clear I like Chicago. I think everyone knows that. If I had it my way, I’d stay here. That’s just one side of the story. We’ll see,” he said.
But would he give the Cubs a hometown discount? “No.”
For what it’s worth, Arrieta will be 32 in 2018. A six-year contract would take him through his age-37 season. That thought might be enough to give the Cubs — and presumably other teams — pause. As good as Arrieta has been, he is not immune to the effects of aging. Historically, few pitchers have remained effective into their late-30’s.