Cubs Need To Extend Jake Arrieta
After a season where he emerged as one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball, Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta is in a position to be reward for his work with a contract extension. However, the Cubs have yet to give him an extension, something that could very much backfire for them down the road. There are a number of reasons for the Cubs to give Arrieta a contract extension, reasons that could be the difference between Chicago breaking their long title drought and losing their star.
Promising Career Ahead
When it comes to pitchers like Jake Arrieta, signing them at a relatively young age is a smart move. It shows the player that you are committed to them long term, and helps to develop a trust with that player from an early point in their career. It also keeps this player with your team for the prime of their career, something that that Chicago Cubs should consider when locking down Jake Arrieta with a long term contract extension.
On too many occasions the expensive contract demands of star players have driven teams to resist paying for long term contracts despite the fact that those teams brought those players into the league to begin with. Chicago has the opportunity to avoid the anguish that comes with that process, and can instead keep one of the best pitchers in MLB for as long as possible by signing him now.
Keep Young Core Together
A very young Chicago Cubs team was supposed to be good last season, but not spectacular as they had a lot of learning and growing to do together. However, the team greatly exceeded expectations and ended up qualifying for the National League Championship Series. Arrieta was a huge part of that success, but so were the rest of the team’s young stars. A contract extension for Arrieta wouldn’t just be a commitment to Arrieta, but would prove to the rest of those young players that the team was willing to keep them together to try to win championships.
Other clubs have failed to make similar gestures of good faith to their young star players, which has prompted those players to leave their teams to join clubs willing to pay them for their services. One such example of this behavior comes from the same division as the Chicago Cubs, as the Pittsburgh Pirates have failed to spend on their talent and have failed to get over the hump as one of the truly elite teams in Major League Baseball as a result.
The Chicago Cubs should learn from the mistakes of those teams and sign Jake Arrieta and the rest of their young stars to long term deals as soon as they can, to ensure that those players can help them to be one of the best teams in baseball for the foreseeable future. In a sport with no salary cap, there is no reason not to spend as much money as it takes to win championships. Whether or not the Cubs do this and find themselves breaking a century long title drought remains to be seen.
By: Jason M. Sanin