Jake Arrieta reportedly picks up player option, will return to Phillies

Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Jake Arrieta will not exercise the 2019 player opt out on his three-year, 75 million dollar contract. He is scheduled to make $20 million in 2020. This appeared like a formality, as Arrieta put up sub-par numbers in a 2019 season cut short by a bone spur injury.

In five seasons with the Chicago Cubs, the Missouri native went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA. In his 2015 National League Cy Young Award-winning campaign, Arrieta won 22 games and posted a 1.77 ERA, 2.35 FIP and a 7.0 fWAR. The Phillies inked Arrieta in March of 2018 knowing that those days were most likely behind him and that at best, he could be a solid number two starter behind Aaron Nola.

Jake Arrieta will reportedly be returning to the Phillies in 2020. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Arrieta was excellent in his first two months as a Phillie, posting a 5-2 record with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts. His numbers have dipped since then, going 13-17 with a 4.75 ERA and 4. 84 FIP from June 2018 to August 2019. The 33-year-old’s struggles culminated in last July when he revealed just shortly before the All-Star Break that he had been pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow.

He was able to pitch through the pain up until the beginning of August. After a poor outing against the Giants in which he gave up five earned runs in three innings, Arrieta began to rethink his decision to pitch the remainder of the season despite the nagging bone spur. He told reporters shortly before a home game against the Cubs on August 11 that his 2019 season was over:

“I would have liked it to go differently,” Arrieta told reporters. I would have liked to pitch the remainder of the season healthy. It’s just something that I really couldn’t control. The spur stayed pretty dormant for seven or eight years, and decided to give me trouble. This is really the only option for me to get back to the pitcher I am. This is what I have to do.

Arrieta is expected to be healthy for the start of Spring Training.


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