<
>

Contract talks for Jake Arrieta on agent Scott Boras' list this winter

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Holding court with reporters Wednesday at the general managers meetings was agent Scott Boras, whose clients could sweep the National League postseason awards. Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant are favorites for MVP and Rookie of the Year, respectively, while Jake Arrieta is up for Cy Young.

On the topic of Arrieta, Boras was coy about contract-extension talks for the Chicago Cubs right-hander, who still has two more seasons of arbitration before he hits the free-agent market. The feeling is the Cubs will spend money on others now, and Arrieta later, but the sides will converse at some point this winter. It’s still doubtful something gets done.

“We’re going to be talking about that as the offseason unfolds, about Jake,” Boras said. “I would say it’s fair to say the Cubs are pleased with Jake. And I’m sure Jake is happy playing there so we have to see where it goes.”

Arrieta should get a raise of at least $10 million through the arbitration process after making $3.6 million in 2015. As for Arrieta's high innings total in 2015, Boras admits there is some concern moving forward when a pitcher throws 30 to 40 innings more than his career high. In the regular season alone, Arrieta pitched 229 innings, 72⅓ beyond his previous high, which came in 2014.

Cubs spending: Boras steered the conversation toward ownership when discussing the Cubs, who he believes have a “budding garden of talent.” His clients on the team include Bryant, Arrieta, Addison Russell and Chris Coghlan.

“This is a whole new phase for Cubs ownership,” Boras said. “It’s a championship phase. It’s not a rebuilding phase, it’s a championship phase. How owners react to that and what they do is a completely different thought process.”

In other words, he wants to see the Cubs spend more money, particularly after several years of “tanking” put them in a position of strength moving forward.