CHICAGO (WGN) — In his first stint in Chicago, he was one of the most popular players in one of the greatest eras of Cubs’ baseball as the team won their first World Series championship in 108 years.
But a second time for the franchise hasn’t gone as well, and it won’t even last a season.
After another difficult performance on Wednesday, the Cubs have placed pitcher Jake Arrieta on unconditional release waiver after 20 starts in which the starting pitcher struggled to get any momentum going. He finished his second stint with the team with a 5-11 record along with a 6.88 ERA.
He hasn’t gotten a win since May 25 and allowed eight earned runs in just four innings in a 10-0 loss to the Brewers Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.
“I got nothing for you,” said Arrieta to reporters after his start Wednesday. “I’m doing the best I can, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Arrieta was on a one-year, $6 million deal with the team for 2021 as they signed him to add starter depth following the trade of pitcher Yu Darvish.
This is a far cry from his first stint with the team from the middle of the 2013 season through 2017 when he was one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Arrieta won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award after going 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA then pitching a complete game in the NL Wild Card Game against the Pirates in a 4-0 victory.
An All-Star in 2016, Arrieta went 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA, that season then won two World Series games against the Indians to help the Cubs advance to their first World Series title since 1908. The pitcher was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 2017 as the Cubs won another NL Central division title and got the Cubs’ last playoff win in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers that October.
Unable to come to a long-term deal as the Cubs pursued Darvish, Arrieta signed with the Phillies in the offseason of 2018 and played three seasons in Philadelphia. There the pitcher was limited by injuries as he made 64 total starts in that time, going 22-23 with a 4.36 ERA.