The Cubs have an All-Star in Jake Arrieta, but will they be able to keep him around for many years to come? If not then they should look into dealing the 31-year old pitcher to a team that could give them a good return. If the Cubbies choose to trade away Arrieta as part of a darkhorse deal with another club, it would make sense even though they have the talent to win championships now.
If Chicago ships Arrieta away they would be able to ask for a good return and since there isn’t much to look at in the starting pitchers market, they could end up forcing a team to give up a prized prospect or a current MLB player. If the Cubs let Arrieta walk in free agency then they wouldn’t receive anything for him and in turn would end up missing an opportunity to help their future. Of course the Cubs are in win now mode, but they need to add on to their bullpen if they want to repeat as World Series champs.
The Cubs could deal Arrieta and then find veteran pitchers with playoff experience to bolster their rotation. Miguel Gonzalez(White Sox), Derek Holland(White Sox), and Alex Cobb (Rays) fit the bill and they could be nice assets in that Cubs rotation.
Below are the top four landing spots for Jake Arrieta.
4) New York Yankees
New York has the prospects to pull of a deal with Chicago and they will need an All-Star starter for the future. Arrieta would go to a young team that has already hit the ground running this season and they look fearless taking down anyone in their path (i.e.- Arrieta’s Cubs). With C.C. Sabathia and Michael Pineda getting ready to hit the free agency pool, the Yanks will be searching for depth throughout their rotation. Adding a stud like Arrieta would bolster the Yankees chances of winning a championship in the near future and he could have help since Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to be a Yanke for the next four seasons.
3) Los Angeles Dodgers
LA is a World Series contender and they would be more lethal if they added Arrieta to create an amazing 1-2 punch with Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers have one of the best farm systems in pro baseball and that only would help LA try to stand out among the potential suitors for Arrieta’s services. Arrieta would go to the NL West, which has proven to be a less competitive division than the NL Central.
2) Cleveland Indians
The Tribe not only have a need for a pitcher that can support Corey Kluber in the rotation, but they could initiate a deal because of the plethora of talent in their farm system. Cleveland could create a package that include Danny Salazar or Trevor Bauer. Both starters are getting paid less than $4 million on the this season and would be good complementary arms for Chicago. They are also eligible for arbitration from the 2018 off season to the 2020 off season. Josh Tomlin would be another arm for the Cubs to consider in an Arrieta deal. The right-hander is getting paid $2.5 million this year and his current contract includes a club option for 2018.
1) Houston Astros
Houston is off to a blazing start in 2017 and they clearly are in win-now mode. They have plenty of talent in their farm system and they could use another starter to form a 1-2 combo with Dallas Keuchel. Houston have proven that they are willing to spend money on good quality players and they have a payroll that ranks 18th in baseball. The Astros are in a weak division and they have a good young nucleus that contains players in their early twenties. With the Rockets making it to the second round of the NBA Playoff and the Texans drafting Deshaun Watson, the Astros might feel extra motivated to pull of a blockbuster deal to bring Arrieta. That would be a move that could shift the balance of attention in the city of Houston for years to come.