Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer has made it clear that he wouldn't mind having former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta come back into the fold. The acknowledgment by Hoyer appears to be the first time the club has made an official statement since the season began. That makes some sense since Arrieta spent most of 2017 looking like a pitcher that the Cubs wouldn't be heartbroken to see move on. In the last few months, the pitcher has looked quite a bit like his old self.

The most recent performances have been good enough that the pitcher is likely getting himself in line for a pretty costly contract once again. In April or May, it would have been hard to write that sentence with a straight face.

Now the argument could be made that "Jake the Snake" has been one of the MVPs of the team, especially in the second half of the season.

Cubs general manager talks Arrieta in latest interview

During a radio interview with CBS Local, Hoyer was asked point blank whether he and the rest of the front office were having talks with Arrieta's camp about returning for 2018 and beyond. The general manager made it very clear that the team wasn't hiding their desire to see Jake back in the fold. "Of course we’re going to have those conversations," Hoyer said during the interview.

Later on in the conversation, he said the Chicago Cubs are planning on being big time players in Arrieta's "free agent journey." Even before the 2017 season began, it was well known that the Cubs were likely going to be quite active in the free agent class after the 2017 season.

The team is going to need to shore up the rotation at least a bit more, considering fifth starter John Lackey is likely moving on. It would make sense that the Cubs would like to bring Arrieta back, move Mike Montgomery into the rotation and perhaps focus on another position in the long run.

Verlander being traded changed the Chicago Cubs dynamic

One of the reasons Hoyer might be more open to Arrieta returning now is because he wasn't able to acquire former Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander. Reports surfaced shortly after Verlander's trade to the Houston Astros that the Cubs were at least in talks with the Tigers. There are other reports that indicated Verlander had preferred to go to Chicago and only agreed to a trade to Houston when it was made clear the Cubs weren't going to come calling. Now we'll just have to sit back and wait to see what Chicago has up its sleeve in regards to Jake Arrieta.