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Baffoe: Let's Imagine How A Jake Arrieta Arbitration Hearing Would Go

By Tim Baffoe--

(CBS) has obtained a transcript of arbitration proceedings that haven't yet happened between Cubs ace pitcher Jake Arrieta and representatives of the team's front office.

Team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein: "Hi, Jake. How's it going?"

Jake Arrieta: "'Bout to get paid, how 'bout you, company man?"

Epstein: "We think you deserve more money, for sure, and we'd like to reach an agreement with you that avoids this official courtroom silliness."

General manager Jed Hoyer: "Is that your Cy Young Award on your neck chain?"

Arrieta: "Word."

Hoyer: "And why aren't you wearing a shirt?"

Arrieta: "Ain't no judge awarding this bod $7 million."

Judge: "OK, good afternoon, everyone. We are here today to listen to arguments on behalf of Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta and the Cubs organization on a discrepancy regarding the player's salary."

Arrieta: "I deserve to get paid."

Hoyer: "You do get paid."

Arrieta: "Gots to get paid."

Hoyer: "You're wearing pajama pants."

Judge: "Representatives of the team will have the first opportunity to speak."

Epstein: "Thank you. We're not here to attempt to belittle Jake Arrieta's 2015 season. That would be foolish if not impossible. He won the Cy Young, awarded to the National League's best pitcher."

Arrieta: (taps award on table)

Epstein: "That said, the $13 million that Jake is seeking is a figure higher than that ever awarded as a one-year agreement for a second-year arbitration-eligible pitcher. He's already under an agreed-upon contract, and the Chicago Cubs feel the offer of $7.5 million -- a substantial raise that we believe he deserves -- is more than fair and emblematic of Jake's supreme talent on the baseball diamond."

Arrieta: (whispering) "This is emblematic." (licks Cy Young Award slowly)

Hoyer: "Your honor, he's wearing socks with sandals."

Judge: "That's fairly irrelevant, Mr. Hoyer. Plus, when you win a Cy Young, it's considered quirky, not unsettling."

Hoyer: "The Cubs organization has avoided arbitration with six of Jake's teammates -- Travis Wood, Hector Rondon, Chris Coghlan, Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Adam Warren. All are fine players, and all will have a large impact on what we expect to be a competitive 2016 season. As will Jake. But where he differs right now is that his teammates are more focused on the team than themselves."  

Arrieta: "Strop doesn't even like you. He knows his hat bothers you. He pronounces your name 'Hoya,' which is Spanish for 'hole.'"

Judge: "Mr. Arrieta, you may now speak for your cause."

Arrieta: (clears throats) "Your honor, I won the Cy Young. Thank you."

Hoyer: "See, your honor? He can't be taken seriously."

Arrieta: "Tweet about it, Jed."

Judge: "Mr. Arrieta, anything else?"

Arrieta: "My ERA last season was 1.77."

Epstein: "Rondon's was 1.67."

Arrieta: "My K/BB was the best on the team."

Hoyer: "Your OPS at the plate was .428."

Arrieta: "I had the highest WAR on the team."

Hoyer: "There is no consensus on calculating WAR."

Arrieta: "I'm sexy."

(muffled discussion)

Epstein: "Kris Bryant is hotter. And many would argue in favor of Anthony Rizzo's boyish charms or Jorge Soler's carved statuesqueness."

Arrieta: "Hey, Theo, aren't you entering the final year of your contract? And with no extension yet? Hmm…"

Epstein: "Everything is fine. We are completely on the same page. We just haven't gotten around to hammering out an actual contract."

Arrieta: "Your wooden voice doesn't sound like everything is fine. It bothers you, doesn't it?"

Epstein: (fidgeting) "Absolutely not."

Arrieta: "You put all the pieces in place for what we're about to do this summer. You endured years of crusty Chicago media criticizing your plan, telling the public that your nerd math made no sense and that tearing everything down and taking time to build a winner was fool's gold."

Hoyer: "Don't listen to him, Theo."

Arrieta: "Where's the respect from your own organization? What does it say about them that they have you sitting here arguing on their behalf when they have you dangling in the wind as we speak? Doesn't make much sense to me, but, hey, I'm just a guy with a Cy Young and a perfect beard."

Hoyer: "Stay focused, Theo. Remember, we're in control here."

Arrieta: "You gonna let a guy named Jed tell you what to do? That's not even a real name. Only fictional characters from decades ago are named Jed."

Epstein: (in a hushed tone, turning to Hoyer) "And you're supposedly married to someone named 'Merrill Muckerman' who no one has ever met. I don't know if I can believe anything about you, man."

Hoyer: "Theo, don't… damn it... I'm not the bad guy here."

Arrieta: "The Ricketts family got you here doing their dirty work like a chump. It's their money you have to argue about, not yours. Think about that, dude. Yeah, they let you come to work in polo shirts or a sport coat without a tie. Real benevolent. They got you hoodwinked, bro. You're fighting an odd battle here when the war is much closer to home."

Epstein: (eyes welling with tears) "Tom Ricketts doesn't care about me."

Arrieta: "Right? Harness this emotion."

Hoyer: "Theo, your new deal is just a matter of formality any day n-"

Epstein: "Shut up. Your honor, I believe Jake Arrieta deserves any and all money he asks for. He has a Cy Young. And a sweet beard. Most importantly, he has my respect, a respect I struggle to find for myself."

Hoyer: (cursing drowned out by Cy Young Award playing Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud To Be An American")

Arrieta: (arm around Epstein) "Maybe Tom never tells you this, but just know, whenever you're doubting yourself, I'm proud of you. Someone is proud of you."

Epstein: (wiping tears) "Thank you. May I touch your Cy Young Award?"

Arrieta: (warmly smiling) "No."

Tim Baffoe is a columnist for Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.

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