It will take a pretty penny for the Chicago Cubs to hang on to 2015 Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, as the right-handed ace is already generating plenty of attraction on the free agent market. Arrieta is expected to land a major deal this offseason, and the Cubs, who are paying hefty salaries to several star players, could be out of luck in a bidding war for arguably the team's most reliable pitcher.
The St. Louis Cardinals, who are never too shy to attempt to woo away the rival Cubs' top free agents, are a leading candidate in the race for Arrieta, with the Cardinals in desperate need to rejuvenate their starting rotation after missing out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Furthermore, stalwart Cardinals starter Lance Lynn is a free agent and may very well take his talents elsewhere, making the need for a replacement ace all the more important for St. Louis.
Also rumored to be in the mix are the rising Minnesota Twins, who could team Arrieta up with fellow starter Ervin Santa to make for a formidable top half of the rotation. In addition, the Philadelphia Phillies, who are assuredly eager to bring any proven veteran on board to help turn that sinking club around, are also in the market for Arrieta.
While the Phillies could likely offer Arrrieta the most money, the Cardinals and Twins could potentially offer Arrieta the most power in terms of his role as the certified ace in an otherwise solid rotation. With the Cubs, who are slated to return aces Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester, Arrieta could not be offered that same promise.
The Cubs definitely need all of the star power that they can get if they are to remain World Series contenders for the next few years, and Arrieta could make or break that dream. Although the Cubs may not be able to win a bidding war with Arrieta's other suitors, they could certainly offer him the best chance to win now, and, in the end, that might just win Arrieta over.