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Jake Arrieta, Padres Agree to Minor League Contract After Release from Cubs

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2021

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta throws to a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The San Diego Padres announced Monday that they have come to agreement on a minor league contract with pitcher Jake Arrieta.

San Diego Padres @Padres

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Padres?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Padres</a> have signed RHP Jake Arrieta to a minor league contract.<br><br>Details: <a href="https://t.co/lCIKcsBxhf">https://t.co/lCIKcsBxhf</a> <a href="https://t.co/yh1Me6OwPD">pic.twitter.com/yh1Me6OwPD</a>

The deal comes after Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported earlier Monday that the two sides were close on terms.

The 35-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs last week after allowing seven runs in the first inning of a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He posted a 6.88 ERA with a 1.76 WHIP in 20 starts this season.

The veteran had signed a one-year deal with Chicago in the offseason, returning to the place where he won a World Series and Cy Young Award. 

Arrieta has seen his ERA grow in each of the last five years since his 2015 Cy Young, posting a 4.36 ERA over the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He had a 4-4 record with a 5.08 ERA in nine starts during the shortened 2020 season.

The right-hander was unable to turn things around in 2021, allowing a career-high 11.8 hits per nine innings.

"He was struggling," president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said last Thursday. "Not getting deep into starts. We've been patient and tried to get through it and hopefully he [would] come out the other side and pitch better. We weren't there."

The Padres will hope for more success as they look to overcome significant injuries in the pitching staff.

Yu Darvish and Chris Paddock are currently on the injured list, while Dinelson Lamet has been out since June after a strong start to the year. It has left a lot of uncertainty beyond Joe Musgrove, especially with Blake Snell struggling with consistency.

Ryan Weathers will seemingly have to remain in the rotation despite allowing at least six earned runs in each of his last three starts.

Even if Arrieta doesn't return to his previous form, it won't take much to help the Padres as they look to stay in the playoff hunt.

San Diego entered Monday with a 2.5-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the last wild-card spot.