Jake Arrieta wants ace money, won’t give Cubs hometown discount
Jake Arrieta suggested Wednesday that he’s worth more than the $175 million deal Stephen Strasburg signed with the Washington Nationals and indicated he’s not interested in giving the Chicago Cubs the so-called hometown discount.
In the wake of the seven-year deal Strasburg signed earlier this week, Arrieta pointed out that “aces get seven years,” seemingly pointing out he considers himself one. He was asked by reporters if he believes he deserves more than what Strasburg got in his deal.
“I’ll let you judge that,” Arrieta said when asked what he envisions as his market value, via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “Just look at the numbers.”
While Strasburg has certainly enjoyed a standout career, he hasn’t come close to matching Arrieta’s sublime performance last season when the Cubs pitcher won the National League Cy Young Award by posting a 22-6 record to go along with a minuscule 1.77 ERA. The fact that Arrieta has stormed out of the gates this season, going 6-0 in seven starts with a 1.13 ERA, arguably establishes last season wasn’t an aberration, either.
In other words, Arrieta expects to be paid. When asked if he’d entertain giving the Cubs a hometown discount to get a deal done, Arrieta shook his head and said, “No.”
Arrieta is slated to earn $10.7 million this season and has one year left of arbitration. He can become a free agent following the 2017 season.
And whenever the time comes when the Cubs and Arrieta start discussing a new deal, it’s expected to be above and beyond what Strasburg got from the Nationals, perhaps in the $200 million range.
Cubs president Theo Epstein acknowledged that the Strasburg deal will have an impact on any potential contract talks with Arrieta, whenever such discussions would occur.
A deal reportedly doesn’t appear to be in the works, but Arrieta would be fine with contract talks in-season while insisting he’d be able to remain focused on baseball even if negotiations were to occur.
“Most of the focus has to stay on what we’re trying to accomplish today,” he said. “If we keep winning, those kinds of things work themselves out in time. If they want to talk, they know where I’m at and we can get something going …
“In a perfect world, I prefer it be done quickly. Let’s get it over with and go play.”