The Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year drought when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games to win the 2016 World Series.
A lot of the Cubs’ success last season had to do with their starting rotation, led by veterans Jon Lester and John Lackey, breakout star Kyle Hendricks, and the 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta.
Each is back in 2017 for what figures to be another run into October, although for Arrieta it could be his last with the Cubs. After disappointing seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Arrieta found success in Chicago.
He burst onto the scene in 2015 and developed into one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Arrieta is set to hit the free agent market after the 2017 season, and at 31-years-old, the Cubs may not have the financial flexibility or want to give him the long-term deal he desires.
If the right-hander were to leave Chicago, the Los Angeles Dodgers could be an option for him, via Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
There is no word anything’s going on now, and while Arrieta doesn’t feed into it by mentioning anyone but the Cubs, where he’s become a star after struggling so much in Baltimore, you hear occasional rumors about the Dodgers and others.
After beating out Dodgers starters Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young in 2015 when he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA, Arrieta followed it up in 2016 with another successful season.
He was named to his first All-Star team, went 18-6 with a 3.10 ERA, 3.52 FIP and 1.08 WHIP while striking out 190 and walking 76 in 197.1 innings.
The Dodgers currently have an abundance of starting pitching going into the 2017 season, but veterans Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu come off the books after the 2018 season. Kershaw can also opt out of his contract after the 2018 season, when he will be 30 years old.