#Cubs Arrieta hopeful of extension

Jake Arrieta has made it clear to the Cubs that he wants to stay with the team. It’s just a matter now of figuring out how long a deal the two sides can agree to.

The Cubs and Arrieta’s agent Scott Boras did discuss a long-term contract this offseason after the right-hander won the National League Cy Young award, posting a 22-6 record and 1.77 ERA. Arrieta was arbitration eligible, and the two sides settled on a one-year, $10.7 million deal. They’ve continued conversations this spring.

“Where we left it was they wanted to extend me for a shorter period of time than we would like,” Arrieta said Tuesday. “Plain and simple, I want to stay here for six or seven years, and that’s it. If I’m going to sign a deal, that’s kind of the neighborhood we need to be in.

“Obviously, there has to be a compromise on both sides,” he said. “I’m getting to the point where I’m close to being a free agent. I know the deals that have been offered to other players in similar situations.”

Arrieta, who turned 30 on Sunday, will be a free agent after the 2017 season. Other pitchers to sign long-term deals that Arrieta’s camp may consider comparables include Max Scherzer (seven years, $210 million), David Price (seven years, $217 million), and Zack Greinke (six years, $206.5 million).

Arrieta did talk with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein during the offseason and said Tuesday that they did have a conversation “a little more recently.”

“There’s no secrets,” Arrieta said of his conversations with Boras and with Epstein. “We all know what’s out there. I think we could have more detailed conversations.”



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