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Central Notes: Arrieta, Nutting, Royals, Belisle

Cubs hurler Jake Arrieta still expects to talk to the team about an extension before free agency and believes a deal is possible, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. However, Arrieta noted that extension talks aren’t his No. 1 priority as he focuses on his health and on the team’s chances of replicating last year’s World Series victory. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein, too, said he planned to meet with Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, but as Wittenmyer explains, an extension still feels like a long shot. Boras has already compared Arrieta to right-hander Max Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210MM contract with the Nationals two winters ago.