Jake Arrieta’s tenure with the Cubs is officially over, as the 32-year-old agreed to a three-year deal worth $75 million ($25 M AAV) with the Philadelphia Phillies. Details on the contract have been reported by Bob Nightengale of USA today reports, among others.
Jake Arrieta gets $75 million over 3 years
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 11, 2018
Arrieta gets the $25 million AAV FanGraphs and MLB Trade Rumors had forecast earlier in the offseason, but for one year less. And hey, at least it wasn’t a $6.5 million one-year pact.
Arrieta’s line as a Chicago Cub is remarkable. In 128 starts, the bearded righty accumulated 803 innings with a 2.73 ERA and 3.16 FIP. The peak of Arrieta’s tenurewith the Cubs, of course, was the 2015 campaign that ended with the Cy Young award. Perhaps no starter in MLB history had a more dominant stretch run than Arrieta’s second half that season, something that we shouldn’t take for granted.
Arrieta was the poster boy of the Cubs turnaround. Once a fizzled-out top prospect for whom Theo traded Scott Feldman, the pilates enthusiast revitalized his career just as the Cubs were accumulating young talent ahead of several NLCS runs and a World Series championship.
Personally, my favorite Arrieta moment was during the 2015 Wild Card game. After refuting all trash talk on Twitter, he went on to strike out out 11 Pirates batters en route to a complete game shutout. I get goose bumps just thinking about that. Arrieta was so dominant that Pittsburgh might’ve intentionally beaned the Cubs ace, after which he stole second base immediately. Incredible.
Arrieta will button up red pinstripes in Philly, but he’ll always be remembered as a Chicago Cub. He’ll forever be included among the great Cubs players of all time, in my opinion, and I don’t think we’ll ever see a more dominant pitcher than second-half 2015 Jake Arrieta. When he returns to Wrigley, every single fan better be off their chairs giving the “strong, bearded right-hander” (as Pat Hughes would say) a long standing ovation.