Hot Stove Digest: Is Jake Arrieta preparing for life after the Cubs?

Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

MOVING ON?: With free agency looming at the end of the 2017 season, Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta knew what was coming this weekend. As the team reunited for the Cubs Convention in Chicago, Arrieta was face-to-face with the media for the first time in two months, which meant he couldn’t avoid questions about his future.

To his credit, Arrieta addressed the issue head-on rather than sweeping it under the rug with a “no comment.” However, his answers aren’t likely to instill much confidence in a potential extension.

Here’s what he had to say, courtesy of the Chicago Sun Times Gorden Wittenmyer:

“The timeline is kind of coming to an end as far as as leading up to free agency,” Arrieta said yesterday. “I am here for one more year and I am going to enjoy every moment of it.”

“If it happens, it happens. I don’t know where we stand. I really don’t. We do have some time to maybe work something out. If it doesn’t, I will become a free agent,” he said.

Will 2017 be Jake Arrieta's final season in a Cubs uniform? (Getty Images)
Will 2017 be Jake Arrieta’s final season in a Cubs uniform? (Getty Images)

That doesn’t exactly paint an optimistic picture, but the Cubs indicate they’re still willing to negotiate.

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The window to do so could prove small, as it’s unlikely either side would want a possible distraction to carry over into the regular season. Even then, Arrieta’s status will be a topic of discussion that only figures to get bigger if he puts together another quality season.

Regardless, it’s clear that Arrieta, who agreed to a $15.6375M for 2017, would have no problem moving on if that’s what the situation dictates. [CBS Chicago]

NOT DONE?: The Cleveland Indians offseason spending may not be over just yet. After signing Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $60M deal, it seemed safe to assume that would be their final major move. However, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Indians are still monitoring big-name free agents, which include Jose Bautista. [FOX Sports]

DOUBLE DISASTER: Yahoo Sports Canada’s Dan Toman looks at what Jose Bautista to the Indians would mean for the Blue Jays. [Yahoo Sports Canada]

PRIORITIES: Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill is close to finalizing a deal with the San Diego Padres, according to multiple reports. All that remains is Cahill passing his physical, which will have to wait until after Monday’s visit to the White House with the Cubs. [@jcrasnick]

OLD FRIEND ALERT: Speaking of the Padres, they’re still looking to bring back Jake Peavy for some veteran leadership. [San Diego Union-Tribute]

Former A.L. Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz looks for another chance to close in Milwaukee. (AP)
Former A.L. Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz looks for another chance to close in Milwaukee. (AP)

COMING SOON: Former A.L. Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz is reportedly near a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. [@JonHeyman]

DYNAMIC DUO: Despite being linked to numerous veteran catchers, the Rockies seem intent on rolling with the young duo of Tom Murphy and Tony Wolters. [Denver Post]

SAY WHAT?: If you’re wondering why first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss is still a free agent, one report suggests teams are more focused on finding the next Brandon Moss rather than the existing one at his current asking price. So if you’re a Brandon Moss clone or a left-handed slugger limited to those positions, your time might be coming. [ESPN]

HE’S IN: Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros has confirmed he’ll represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. It’s the fifth time he’s done so after playing for Team USA at the 16-and-under level, the 18-and-under level and twice while at LSU. [Houston Chronicle]

COMEBACK KIDS: Retired hurlers Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne plan on pitching for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. [The Stew]

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!