It has been a long fall from grace for former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.
On Thursday, the Cubs announced their decision to place Arrieta on unconditional release waivers. The move comes a day after he gave up seven runs and eight hits in the first inning of a 10-0 loss to the Brewers.
“He was struggling,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “Not getting deep into starts. We’ve been patient and tried to get through it and hopefully he (would) come out the other side and pitch better. We weren’t there.”
In his second stint with the Cubs, the right-hander is 5-11 with a 6.88 ERA. The last time he was a member of the team, he fared much better. From 2013-2017, Arrieta held a 68-31 record and a 2.92 ERA. He also won the 2015 Cy Young award and helped Chicago win a World Series in 2016.
“Nothing that happened on the mound last night or other nights in any way diminishes his role in club history,” Hoyer added. “You could say he’s one of the more influential people in the history of the franchise.”
After the 2017 season, Arrieta signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies, however, he failed to replicate anything close to his Cy Young season. In his three seasons with Philadelphia, he held a 22-23 record and a 4.36 ERA.
This past offseason, the Cubs signed Arrieta to a one-year deal worth $4 million that included an option for 2022. Initially, he got off to a good start by having an ERA of 2.57 through his first five starts. But since then, he’s allowed 67 runs and 91 hits in 58 1/3 innings.
“Early on in the season, his stuff was a little sharper,” Hoyer said. “Over time things tapered back a bit, whether that was some injury issues or age or whatever. He did everything he could do to succeed.”
After the release, Arrieta will be owed a $2 million buyout for 2022. It is uncertain what his next move may be, but it is quite possible the 35-year-old could retire after 12 seasons in the MLB.