In many ways, Jake Arrieta's first half in 2017 looked like another step in the direction of his second half from 2016, as his ERA soared to 4.35 over his first 101.1 innings for the Cubs last season. He was still racking up plenty of strikeouts, but Arrieta's mistakes were yielding a lot of hard contact, and his walk rate remained above 3.0 BB/9. Despite a rebound in the second half, there are some trends to be concerned about. Arrieta's groundball rate dropped to 45.1 percent last season, and that shift aligned with a home-run rate that spiked from 0.73 to 1.23 HR/9. Moreover he allowed a .248/.317/.446 line to opposing hitters on the road compared to a .206/.281/.344 line at Wrigley Field. A hamstring strain limited Arrieta's availability in September, and may have hampered him during the postseason as well. A big payday awaits as he's one of the premier arms available in a thin free-agent market, but tread carefully barring a draft-day discount.
Arrieta officially declined his qualifying offer from the Cubs on Thursday, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. As expected, Arrieta will head to free agency in search of a multi-year deal. He was never expected to accept the Cubs' one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer, but the Cubs have now ensured themselves a draft pick should he sign elsewhere. The 31-year-old will be one of the most sought after starting pitchers on the market; he's compiled a combined 2.67 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over the past four seasons with Chicago.
Arrieta received a qualifying offer from the Cubs on Monday, the Chicago Sun Times reports. This is more of a formality than anything, since Arrieta has already made it publicly known that he'd rather sign a multi-year deal as a free agent this offseason, rather than the one-year, $17.4 million offer given by the Cubs on Monday. The Cubs will receive draft pick compensation if Arrieta signs elsewhere this offseason.
Arrieta's scheduled start against the Nationals in Game 4 of the NLDS has been postponed due to rain, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. The contest has been rescheduled for Wednesday, and the Cubs are expected to stick with Arrieta as their pitcher for Game 4. The Nationals haven't announced their pitching plans, but Arrieta will likely face off against Stephen Strasburg.
Arrieta will take the mound for Game 4 of the NLDS against Washington, if it's necessary, according to manager Joe Maddon, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports. Arrieta will receive a little extra time to recover from his strained hamstring that has been bothering him for the past few weeks, while Jose Quintana lands the Game 3 start. Maddon decided to go with Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester for the opening two contests, respectively, while hoping that gives Arrieta the break he needs to be ready for next Tuesday's affair, if the series goes to a fourth game. Looking ahead to the near future, Arrieta will toss a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon and will likely follow that up with another before his anticipated start.
Arrieta will throw a bullpen session Wednesday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. Arrieta was originally scheduled to throw a simulated game Wednesday, but the Cubs are worried about the potentially slick field conditions, so they'll play it safe given his recent hamstring issues and limit him to a bullpen session. Manager Joe Maddon insisted Arrieta didn't suffer a setback and that the move was precautionary. Assuming the bullpen goes well, Arrieta is expected to start either Game 3 or Game 4 of the NLDS against the Nationals.