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Jake Arrieta Announces Retirement from Baseball

Former Cubs' ace announces retirement from MLB.
Jake Arrieta Cubs

Photo: Sam Greene - USA TODAY Sports

Former Chicago Cubs Cy Young standout Jake Arrieta announced his retirement from professional baseball on Monday in an interview on the Pardon My Take podcast. Here’s what he had to say:

“I haven’t signed the papers, but I’m done. 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.”

- Jake Arrieta on the Pardon My Take podcast

Arrieta was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft from Texas Christian University. The righty made his major league debut in 2010 where he spent the next three seasons struggling with his mechanics and trying to find his stride until he was traded in the middle of the 2013 season. In arguably the greatest trade in Cubs history, the Orioles sent over Arrieta and right-handed relief pitcher Pedro Strop in exchange for catcher Steve Clevenger and starting pitcher Scott Feldman. What happened next was nothing short of spectacular.

Jake Arrieta is Reborn

For the next few seasons, Arrieta began to establish himself as an ace-worthy pitcher. In his first full season with the Cubs (2014), he posted a 2.53 ERA in 25 starts, with 167 strikeouts and a 0.989 WHIP in 156.2 innings pitched. He also finished in the top ten voting for National League Cy Young award. This proved to be only a glimpse of what he achieved the next season.

In 2015, Arrieta produced one of the greatest seasons ever for a Cubs pitcher, and the greatest second half of a season ever by a major league pitcher. In nearly 230 innings, he dominated hitters to the beautiful tune of a 1.77 ERA in 33 games, with 236 strikeouts, a 0.865 WHIP, and a 22-6 record that included four complete games and three shutouts. What was even more impressive was his second half of the season. In 107.1 innings after the All-Star break that season, he gave up only nine runs. He posted a 0.75 ERA and a 12-1 record in 15 starts, which included a no-hit performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Ace” Arrieta capped off the season with a dominant performance in the National League Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and finished the 2015 campaign taking the NL Cy Young Award.

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Helping End the Curse

Arrieta continued his dominant run in 2016 and eventually helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. In 31 games, he posted a 18-8 record with 190 strikeouts in 197.1 innings pitched and a 3.10 ERA. He also tossed another no-hitter, received his first All-Star nod, finished in the top ten for the NL Cy Young Award and won the silver slugger award for the National League pitcher.

The Descent

The righty spent one more season with the Cubs in 2017, but signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2018 offseason. In three seasons, he posted a 22-23 record with a 4.36 ERA, but struggled with injuries throughout his tenure.

The Cubs signed Arrieta at the beginning of the 2021 season, but after struggling to rekindle his old self, he was later released. The San Diego Padres later signed him and he threw his final four games of his major league career out west.

Arrieta will always be remembered as one of the greatest “big game pitchers” to ever step on a mound. For his career in the playoffs, he holds a 5-3 record, including two wins in the 2016 World Series, and a 3.08 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched.

Although he pitched for multiple organizations throughout his career, Arrieta said he wishes he could’ve ended his career with the Cubs, but he’s content with calling it a career.

“It’s all good,” Arrieta said. “I don’t regret anything. Chicago’s my city, it always will be.”