Let the Offseason Begin: Cubs make qualifying offers to Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis

3. Jake Arrieta, SP After seemingly needing a year to recover from his Cy Young Award season, Arrieta pitched with dominance again in 2017 for the Cubs, especially over the second half, pitching to a 2.28 ERA. At age 32 he'll almost never pitch at that 2015 otherworldly level, but Arrieta offered reason to believe he can play at a high level for a few more years. Whether he gets more than four years will depend on how many teams get in on the bidding. Prediction: Phillies, four years, $100 million. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

CHICAGO¬† – Now that a World Series champion has been declared, warm up the “Hot Stove.”

The baseball offseason is officially underway and most of the attention will be focused on the North Side here in Chicago to start off.

As expected on Monday, the Cubs signed pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis to qualifying offers of $17.4 million.

Per the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, that number is reached by calculating the mean salary of the 125 top paid players in the MLB.

Now Arrieta and Davis have 10 days to sign or reject the qualifying offer. During that time they can negotiate a new deal with the Cubs or with others teams. Should they reject the offers, per the qualifying offer rules, the Cubs would receive a compensatory draft pick from the team which Arrieta or Davis would eventually sign.

While the Cubs expressed interest in keeping both players, it’s expected both will be able to get higher contracts outside of Chicago. The 2015 Cy Young Winner, Arrieta has spent five seasons with the Cubs, going 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA. In 2016, he won two games in the World Series as the team won their first championship in 108 years.

Wade excelled in 2017 after being acquired via trade from the Royals for Jorge Soler. He had a career-high 32 saves, converting all but one of his chances, and saved all three Cubs’ victories in the National League Division Series against the Nationals.