When Jake Arrieta was first drafted into the Major leagues, his pitching still left a lot to be desired. He was signed by Baltimore in 2007, from Texas Christian University, but his early days in the Minor leagues were less than stellar.
He didn’t have the control he needed in order to be an effective pitcher, but he was still put on the Orioles Major league roster in 2010. It was a difficult few years for Arrieta, but with his trade to the Cubs in 2013 his talent was significantly improved, to the point that the Cubs knew they had a pitcher they could rely on.
Arrieta’s success only grew from there, finishing out the 2013 season with high hopes, and exceeding expectations throughout 2014. The Cubs felt vindicated in the trade, as Arrieta looked to be the pitcher they needed in order to make it to the playoffs the next year.
Jake full on dominated the 2015 season, which earned him the Cy Young Award after he pitched a shut out game against the Pirates, clinching the Wild Card slot for Chicago.
His success began to wane in 2016, however, calling into question just how much Arrieta is worth as a pitcher. His 2016 stats were nothing to bat an eye at; he still earned a spot in the NL All-Star team, and finished with a record of 3.10 ERA and 3.52 FIP. Moreover, Arrieta was the starting pitcher for two World Series games, in which Chicago dominated the Cleveland Indians.
As Arrieta seems to be declining contract extensions, his worth as a free agent has to be considered. His stats in 2017 have continued to decline, even seeing his pitches slow down, an indicator that the years might be catching up to his arm.
It seems likely that Arrieta’s salary won’t even come close to $200 million. He’ll be lucky if he can sign for $160m even.