Jake Arrieta turned 30 years old over the weekend, and though the timing is likely coincidental, he and the Cubs recently discussed a contract extension.
The talks didn't last long, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman:
Sources: Arrieta, cubs had mega extension talks that ended pretty quickly over decent-sized gap over the length of the deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 8, 2016
Arrieta was believed interested in 7-year deal, citing other Cy young types (felix, verlander, scherzer, price, kershaw).— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 8, 2016
With 2 years to go before FA, cubs wouldn't get close to 7 yrs. Cubs people say they love arrieta and will try again tho..— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 8, 2016
As Heyman noted, Arrieta is still under team control through 2017 (two more seasons), so there isn't a huge rush to do this, although I'm sure some of you would like to see Jake locked up long-term.
Arrieta's citation of "other Cy Young types" isn't completely comparable at this point, in my opinion. All the pitchers listed in that tweet had posted multiple dominant seasons at the time they got big-dollar, long-term contracts. Jake really has only one such season, plus the 2014 season in which he was very good, but not quite up to that Cy Young level. I suspect the Cubs would like to see at least one more Cy-caliber season before a long-term commitment.
Having said that, the Cubs did just give a six-year deal to a 31-year-old pitcher who hadn't had any seasons comparable to the pitchers in question. Jon Lester did get Cy Young votes in 2010 and 2014, and finished fourth in the voting both times.
I'd like to see Jake Arrieta in blue pinstripes for a long time. But before the Cubs sign him longterm, let's see if he can post another year even close to his dominant 2015 season. I could see the Cubs going for a five- or six-year deal after 2016 if that happens.
What do you think? Incidentally, Jake will make his 2016 spring debut tomorrow against another Cy Young winner -- Cleveland's Corey Kluber.