Cubs icon, former Cy Young winner Arrieta retires after 12 seasons

Posted: 19/04/2022 in MLB
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Jake Arrieta has hung up his spikes.

The 2015 Cy Young Award winner announced his retirement Monday, ending a 12-year career that featured his remarkable rise to stardom with the Chicago Cubs.

“Well, I haven’t signed the papers, man, but I’m done,” Arrieta said during an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. “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, really.”

Arrieta’s final year in the majors, which he split between the Cubs and San Diego Padres, was the worst of his career. He posted a 7.39 ERA, 6.17 FIP, and 1.77 WHIP across 24 total starts in 2021 and was cut by San Diego two weeks before the season ended.

The 36-year-old added that he received a contract offer from a Mexican League club this winter but turned it down in favor of retirement.

Originally a fifth-round draft choice out of TCU by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007, Arrieta struggled mightily during his early years before a midseason trade to Chicago in 2013.

Arrieta was dominant during his initial run on the North Side, most notably when he won 22 games with a 1.77 ERA during his Cy Young-winning campaign. The following year, he earned his lone All-Star berth before helping the Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years. His Cubs legacy also includes a pair of no-hitters and a five-hit shutout in the 2015 NL wild-card game at Pittsburgh.

Several injuries began to curtail his effectiveness shortly after he signed a $70-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018. He underwent shoulder and knee surgeries while in Philadelphia and on Monday revealed that he was pitching through serious shoulder issues during his final big-league seasons.

“Towards the end of the ’19 season … my body (felt) amazing, but the shoulder, the old whip, it just doesn’t rotate the way it used to,” Arrieta said. “And whether I like it or not, that’s just kind of where things were going. … It got to a point where I just couldn’t feel my arm in space, at release.”

Arrieta retires having posted a 115-93 record with a 3.98 ERA, 4.00 FIP, and 1,433 strikeouts across 1,612 1/3 career innings. In addition to his World Series ring and Cy Young Award, he was an All-Star in ’16, won a Silver Slugger award, and earned down-ballot Cy Young votes in two other seasons.

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