It looks like Jake Arrieta has one less "nut in his tree" for his "big squirrel" appetite.
On Thursday, the Cubs made their first big move this off-season by signing a right-handed starter for their rotation. 27-year-old Tyler Chatwood and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a $38 million, three-year contract.
The Cubs announced the agreement on Thursday.
That means the door is probably officially closed for Arrieta.
The former Cubs Cy Young, who was already seen as a long shot and "probably gone" by Cubs manager Joe Maddon, is predicted to sign a 4-year-deal for 100 million dollars, something the Chicago team will surely not want to pay.
Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, is known for getting his player's extremely large contracts and he made the following comment at the beginning of free agency:
"He's a Big squirrel with a lot of nuts in his tree."
Boras refered to the value of Arrieta in the open market, but it seems some teams are not willing to go there with the right-hander after his numbers have been declining in the last two seasons.
Chatwood is joining a team with three straight NL Championship Series appearances and a World Series title in 2016. He figures to slot into the rotation behind Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana.
Chatwood, who turns 28 next week, was 8-15 with a 4.69 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts, for Colorado last year. He is 40-46 with a 4.31 ERA over six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels (2011) and Rockies (2012-14, 2016-17).
He was limited to four starts in 2014 and missed the 2015 season because of Tommy John surgery.
Chatwood is known as a groundball pitcher and induces rollers 55 percent of the time, something that could work very well with the great defensive infield the Cubs have.
The Cubs are still in the running to sign Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, who could become the teams fourth or fifth starter, but according to several reports, the team wants to use a six-man-rotation in 2018.
Which would mean the team is still probably looking to sign Alex Cobb, as the right-hander that pitched for the Rays would be a lot cheaper than Arrieta and could be as effective.
Surely any other move from the Cubs will not happen until the Winter Meetings that start on Sunday in Orlando.
AP and Al Bat