Jake Arrieta Wants To Be Paid Like An Ace, Won’t Give Discount

After the Nationals signed Stephen Strasburg to a surprisingly low dollar value contract earlier in the week, reporters spoke with Cubs Ace Jake Arrieta to discuss his own pending contract issues.

Reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta on Wednesday hinted that he’s worth more than the $175 million deal given to Stephen Strasburg and said he’s not ready to give a hometown discount to stay with the Chicago Cubs.

“I’ll let you judge that,” Arrieta told reporters Wednesday morning about what he believes his market to be. “Just look at the numbers.”

Arrietta, who is a Boras client, reiterated that he wants to stay in Chicago, where he is very happy, however he expects to be paid like the Ace that he very clearly is.

Arrieta said “aces get 7 years” — just as Strasburg got — so think of that as a starting point. And think $200 million as one, as well.

“Financially I’m fine, regardless,” Arrieta said. “You want to be paid in respect to how your peers are paid. I don’t think that changes with any guy you ask. It happens around baseball every year.”

Of course, since Arrieta still has one more season of arbitration eligibility, so a deal does not appear to be imminent.  While Arrieta would prefer a deal get done and get out of the way, the fact is that there is no pressing need for a deal to get done immediately, and I’m sure the team would rather part with money later, rather than now.

Arrietta, the reigning NL CY Young winner, is 6-0 with a 1.13 ERA, 363 ERA+, .279 FIP, and .875 WHIP this season, following up a dominant 2015 campaign that ended 22-6, 1.77 ERA, 219 ERA+, 2.35 FIP, and .865 WHIP.

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11 thoughts on “Jake Arrieta Wants To Be Paid Like An Ace, Won’t Give Discount

  1. Strasburg is younger than Arrieta too.

    I don’t begrudge Arrieta’s desire to get massively paid or his lack of willingness to take a discount to stay in Chicago. This is business.

    But assuming nothing gets sorted out by the time he is ready to be a free agent, Arrieta will be 32. I’d hope and expect that ownership is smart enough not to give a 32 year old pitcher a 7 year, $200M-ish contract, no matter how damn good he is.

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      • I’ve seen more comparisons to Scherzer, considering they both had a bit of a rough beginning on their road to AceLand – rather than Price who has pretty much been that guy all along – but there’s not any real significant difference in those two contracts anyway.

        He’s probably going to be “worth” that kind of contract, because he’s that good and that’s what the market will bear for guys who are that good. I just don’t know that the money will be there, considering that the Bryant/Russell/Schwarber/Baez class are going to be starting to get expensive at that point, especially if some long-term contracts can be worked out there, and there’s no telling if the launch of the Cubs TV network in 2020 is going to be as smooth as I hope it is.

        Signing that kind of deal now, while he’s in his age 30 year, would obviously be a hell of a lot better than signing it when he’s in his age 32 year. You can feel mostly alright about one of those, and much less alright about the other.

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  2. “Financially I’m fine, regardless,” Arrieta said. “You want to be paid in respect to how your peers are paid. I don’t think that changes with any guy you ask. It happens around baseball every year.”

    Ah, that explains the use of the word respect.

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  3. Stras’ deal is only surprisingly low-value if one disregards the value of the opt-out. That said, I’ve heard it’s backloaded, so I’d have to see the structure first.

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    • If you were a Feesh fan, you’d regard “backloaded” as a natural modifier of “contract,” kinda like you would “decayed” as a natural modifier of “organic matter.”

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  4. “and I’m sure the team would rather part with money later, rather than now.”

    Yeah, this isn’t the Phillies we are talking about here…

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    • Hate to say it, but tying a 25 year-old down with a multi-year contract – especially with the backloading going on these days – makes sense. A 32 year-old? Not so much. If he’s a star next year, then they have a hard decision to make.

      Besides, before the team negotiates away an arbitration year and takes a flier, I have two words for them:

      Dallas Keuchel

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