Will Cubs lock up Arrieta before arbitration?
The clock is ticking for the Chicago Cubs before Friday's deadline for salary figures to be exchanged between major-league clubs and all unsigned arbitration-eligible players.
For the Cubs, and perhaps all of baseball, Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta is the most interesting case for the offseason.
In his second-straight year of arbitration hearings, Arrieta could be in line for significant raise ranging from nearly $4 million to $11 million. The Cubs, however, would rather just lock up their ace pitcher long term, before he hits free agency after the 2016 season.
Unfortunately for Cubs fans, don't count on Arrieta getting the long-term deal -- right now anyways.
Arrieta is represented by notorious agent Scott Boras, who nearly always advises his star clients to test the waters in free agency instead of doing committing to a long-term deal without hearing from other possibly interest clubs.
While the Cubs could certainly maintain their ace in free agency, as they've shown landing a handful of top free agents this offseason, the path to keeping Arrieta in a Cubs uniform will be more difficult on the open market.
Along with Arrieta, the Cubs also have Travis Wood, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, Adam Warren, Justin Grimm and Chris Coghlan has other arbitration-eligible players. While the monetary numbers are due Fridays, arbitration hearings are scheduled for Feb. 1-21, if no agreement has been reach by the time between player and club.