Jake Arrieta Unconditionally Released By Cubs amid Season-Long Struggles

Adam WellsAugust 12, 2021

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 5:  Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) pitches during a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on August 5, 2021. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jake Arrieta's second stint with the Chicago Cubs came to an end on Thursday. 

The Cubs announced they have placed the 2015 National League Cy Young winner on unconditional release waivers in a series of roster moves made prior to their game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tony Andracki @TonyAndracki23

Cubs place Jake Arrieta on unconditional release waivers. <br><br>Willson Contreras placed on 10-day IL with right knee sprain.<br><br>RHP Brian Meisinger recalled from Iowa, Austin Romine reinstated from 60-day IL. Kyle Ryan DFA'd to make room for Meisinger on 40-man roster.

Arrieta returned to the Cubs in February when he signed a one-year deal. He was hoping to reestablish himself as a dominant pitcher after three inconsistent seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Things have not worked out for Arrieta or the Cubs in 2021. The team went into sell mode before the trade deadline, moving Joc Pederson, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez, and is 52-64—17.5 games back of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the standings. 

Arrieta posted a 6.88 ERA with 113 hits allowed in 86.1 innings through 20 starts. The right-hander allowed eight runs and 11 hits in four innings against the Brewers on Wednesday night in what turned out to be his final start for Chicago. 

Despite his struggles this season, Arrieta will always hold special place in the heart of the Cubs organization and fans. He was an integral part of their rebuild during his first stint with the team from 2013-17. 

Arrieta finished in the top 10 of NL Cy Young voting in three consecutive years from 2014-16. He won his two starts against Cleveland during the 2016 World Series to help the Cubs end their 108-year championship drought.