Former Phillie Jake Arrieta has all but officially announced his retirement from baseball. Arrieta, who pitched three seasons with the Phillies from 2018 to 2020, said he was “done” on the “Pardon My Take” podcast.
“I haven’t signed the papers, but I’m done,” Arrieta said. “It’s time for me to step away from the game. At some point, the uniform goes to somebody else and it’s just my time.”
Arrieta, 36, signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies prior to the 2018 season. In three seasons as a Phillie, Arrieta posted a 4.36 ERA in 352 2/3 innings pitched. Various injuries and inconsistent performances defined his tenure in Philadelphia. Arrieta spoke briefly about his 2019 season with Philadelphia and why that was the time he believed the end of his playing career was on the horizon.
“I was at a point where I was doing everything I possibly could to make things work,” Arrieta said referring to his return to Chicago in 2021. “I came to this realization around the ’19 season, towards the end of the ’19 season, ‘Man, my body feels amazing, but the ‘ole whip, it just doesn’t rotate the way it used to.’ Whether I like it or not, that’s just where things were going. It got to a point where I just couldn’t feel my arm in space at release. It was most dramatic on my curveball and my changeup. I was hitting guys with changeups and those were two pitches where I can throw wherever I wanted. … I could not physically feel where my arm was at at release.”
Arrieta’s 2019 season ended early when he opted to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs in his right elbow in August. He tried to pitch through it for more than a month, but he could not command the aforementioned curveball and changeup or pitch deep into games.
Arrieta signed a one-year, $6 million contract to return to the Cubs in 2021. After posting a 6.88 ERA in 20 starts, he was designated for assignment and signed with the Padres in August.
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