The Cubs “put in one last call” to Jake Arrieta before completing their six-year, $126MM deal with Yu Darvish, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Heyman says Epstein respectfully inquired as to whether Arrieta would have been willing to accept “a deal believed to be similar to the one offered to Darvish should Darvish turn them down.” According to Heyman, “while Arrieta surely appreciated the gesture, he wasn’t immediately prepared to accept a six-year deal for what was believed to be for a similar annual salary.” A careful reading of Heyman’s phrasing is advised, as he at no point states that the Cubs actually made a six-year offer to Arrieta. Nor could one accurately say Arrieta turned down a six-year offer from the Cubs, as we erroneously did in an earlier version of this post. Last Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that “the Cubs and Arrieta barely even engaged in contract talks this winter.” If that’s correct, it would be odd for Epstein to even have made an intimation of a six-year offer around that same time. It isn’t uncommon for teams or their free agents to touch base with each other one final time before either side is on the verge of a move, either out of mutual respect and/or genuine interest to see if a deal could be reached. (For one example from this winter, Carlos Santana’s representatives kept the Indians up to date on his market just to leave open the possibility that the Tribe could’ve found the payroll space to keep Santana in Cleveland.) It also isn’t an uncommon tactic for a team to approach several similarly-valued free agents with similar contact offers to see which, if any, accepts first.
Cubs Reportedly Made Late Call To Arrieta Before Signing Darvish
MLB Trade Rumors | Feb 12