Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, who won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016 and was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2015, announced his retirement from baseball on Monday in an interview on the Pardon My Take podcast.
“I haven’t signed the papers, but I’m done,” Arrieta said. “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.”
Arrieta last appeared in 2021 with the Padres after being released earlier in the year by the Cubs. Across 24 starts with both teams, he went 5-14 with a 7.39 ERA in 98 2/3 innings.
Arrieta was drafted by the Orioles in the fifth round in 2007, and debuted with the team in 2010. He struggled for parts of four seasons with Baltimore before being traded to the Cubs in 2013, where his career took off. He went 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA in 2014, then led the majors with 22 wins and posted a 1.77 ERA in 229 innings in 2015. Arrieta emerged in a tight Cy Young Award voting race, beating out Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. He also finished sixth in MVP voting.
The right-hander signed a three-year, $70 million deal with the Phillies ahead of the 2018 season, but failed to recapture the success from his Chicago days. Arrieta won each of his starts in the 2016 World Series, allowing just three runs with 15 strikeouts across 11 1/3 innings.
Arrieta said that while his body still feels good, his arm doesn’t have the same firepower that it once had to continue his career.
“I was at a point where I was doing everything I possibly could to make things work,” Arrieta said. “Unfortunately, I came to this realization around the ’19 season that, man, my body feels amazing. But the shoulder, the old whip, it doesn’t rotate the way it used to. And whether I like it or not, that’s just kind of where things were going.”
While he wishes he could have ended his career with the Cubs, Arrieta seemed content with calling it a career now at age 36.
“But we’re here now, it’s all good. I don’t regret anything. Chicago’s my city, it always will be,” Arrieta said. “But would I have liked it to go a little bit better? Sure, of course. I would have liked to see it through last year, with the boys all year. But hey, man, I had a (7.39 ERA). What are you gonna do? It’s the way it goes.”