This past week, the Cubs traveled to Boston to face the Red Sox. Jake Arrieta started the first game and nearly threw a no-hitter, beating the Sox 2-0. GM Jed Hoyer was in Boston, and was amazed after speaking to Red Sox people.
“It’s been fun to be here and talk to people with the Red Sox, what they thought of that outing because they did see him so much,” Hoyer said. “They saw a different guy pounding the strike zone, and the cutter-slider he’s been throwing has been the talk of those guys.”
Arrieta, along with Pedro Strop, came over to the Cubs from the Baltimore Orioles in a deal for Scott Feldman last season. In six previous outings against the Red Sox, Arrieta was 0-3 with a 5.89 ERA.
After recovering from an injury, Arrieta is 5-1 with a 1.81 ERA. He has been showing ace-type stuff, and that is coming in handy as the Cubs are contemplating several trade opportunities. In his last two outings, he has lost a perfect game late and a no-hitter late.
As good as Arrieta is throwing, would the Cubs consider trading him? Hoyer was non-committal.
“I’m not going to comment on any other part of it, but I’m glad we have him,” he said.
The Cubs have had trade talks with teams centering on several players, like Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. What makes Arrieta more attractive for the Cubs (and other teams for that matter) is that he still isn’t eligible for arbitration yet, so whatever team has him can expect to do so for a while.
Arrieta, at 28, is still young enough to be an anchor of a pitching staff. I would expect the Cubs to keep Arrieta, unless a team wows them with a trade.
Arrieta struggled a bit while with Baltimore, but since moving over to Chicago, he has been pretty good. In Baltimore, he had a 20-25 record, with a 5.46 ERA. He had a WHIP of 1.47, and his strikeout per nine innings rate was 7.
Since coming over to Chicago, he’s posted a 9-3 record, with a 2.63 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and his k/9 innings is 8.6.
Very solid numbers for Jake Arrieta who, because of his contract, should be given a chance to be an important cog in the Cubs’ plan on contending again.