The Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta continue to both claim they are talking about possibly signing an extension. The more the two sides talk about coming to an understanding, the less chance there seems to be that Arrieta is going to be a Cub when spring training opens in 2018.

The most interesting thing about the talks between the Cubs and Arrieta is that who we're rooting for in this saga seems to change on a daily basis. Certainly, there are fans who want Jake back at any cost. Others understand Chicago shouldn't be offering the sun, moon and the stars for a pitcher who hasn't looked as good in the last 18 months.

Top tier money for top tier talent?

Jon Heyman has recently reported the likely sticking point between Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs. It appears that the pitcher's agent, Scott Boras has told the team he and his client are looking for a seven-year deal worth about $200-$210 million. That contract would put the Cubs' pitcher in line with the contract the Washington Nationals gave Max Scherzer.

On its face, Chicago would be hard pressed to tell Jake he isn't worth that contract when comparing him to the Nats' deal. The problem is that the Cubs simply don't want to commit to a 31-year-old pitcher who posted great numbers last year but simply wasn't the same pitcher he was for most of the 2015 season.

Four-year max

Heyman also reported the Cubs don't want to give Arrieta, or any other big name pitcher, a contract longer than four years. That too, might rub some fans the wrong way considering they gave Jon Lester a seven year deal when he signed with the Cubs. That situation was different because Chicago was looking to show the baseball world they were ready to be contenders.

In order to show that, they needed to spend lavishly on the market's best free agent pitcher at the time. Arrieta is essentially in the right place, at the wrong time. The Chicago Cubs know it would be a luxury to continue to have a 1-2 punch that features the likes of Arrieta and Lester. That means there's even a chance a trade could come before the end of the regular season.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!