The Cubs and Cardinals are “showing the most interest” in possibly signing top free-agent starter Jake Arrieta, a source told Bruce Levine of 670 The Score.
These two clubs are the latest clubs to look into signing Arrieta, with the Cubs having “a renewed interest in bringing back” the 31-year-old righty, who was their ace for four of the last five seasons. The Blue Jays, Brewers, Nationals, Phillies, Rangers and Rockies have also been linked to Arrieta.
Arrieta is coming off a 2017 campaign in which he went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts. Arrieta is three seasons removed from winning the NL Cy Young Award after a 22-6 campaign with a 1.77 ERA and is two years removed from an All-Star year in which he also helped the Cubs win the World Series. In parts of five years with Chicago, Arrieta has gone 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and a 19.9 WAR in 128 starts.
Arrieta, who made $15.6 million last year with the Cubs after they avoided arbitration, has been eyeing a deal around $200 million, according to his agent Scott Boras.
So far, the Cubs have signed Tyler Chatwood, fellow starter Drew Smyly and relievers Brandon Morrow and Steve Chisek this offseason, but have been in contact with other big-named starters such as Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb. As for the Cardinals, they have signed starter Miles Mikolas and reliever Luke Gregerson, but they are also in pursuit of Eric Hosmer as they are trying to acquire another big bat after trading for Marcell Ozuna.