After three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Jake Arrieta is close to returning to the Chicago Cubs, according to Jon Heyman of RADIO.COM. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears the same, and, as expected, it will be a one-year deal for Arrieta. ESPN‘s Jesse Rogers says the deal will be worth “between $6.5 and $7 million.”
Arrieta spent four and a half seasons with the Chicago Cubs prior to signing a three-year/$75 million deal with the Phillies ahead of the 2018 season. Most notably, he won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award while playing for the Cubs, going 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA, 2.35 FIP and 7.0 fWAR. He also helped the Cubs to break a 108-year World Series drought in 2016.
In three seasons with the Phillies, Arrieta delivered disappointing results, going 22-23 with a 4.36 ERA and a 4.55 FIP. He battled injuries in each of his three campaigns in red pinstripes.
Arrieta returns to a Cubs team that’s going to look entirely different than the one he left. His former teammate, David Ross, is now the manager. Meanwhile, Theo Epstein, who initially acquired him from the Baltimore Orioles in July of 2013, stepped down as president of baseball operations after the 2020 season. The Cubs are the defending National League Central Champions, but face an uncertain future with all three of Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo set to become free agents after the 2021 campaign.
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