(670 The Score) Jake Arrieta, the rock of the Cubs’ rotation for the past 4 1/2 seasons, remains a free agent as spring training camps open this week.
For that reason and because Tuesday was Yu Darvish’s day in officially being introduced as a Cub after signing a six-year deal, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein kept his comments on Arrieta to a minimum.
But what he did say was appreciative and poignant.
“I’ll have a lot of great things to say about Jake once he signs with another team,” Epstein said. “But I’m happy to say it again today too: None of us have rings without Jake Arrieta. He was as instrumental as anybody in the turnaround of this franchise. He helped lift the culture with the way he approached things. He won a ton of big games for us. We’re all huge fans of his. We wish him well. We wish his family well. Whatever team lands him in free agency is going to be getting a great pitcher and a great representative for the organization.”
Acquired in a trade from the Orioles in July 2013, Arrieta was 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in his tenure in Chicago. Included in that run was his historic run in winning the Cy Young in 2015 and also a pair of wins in the World Series in 2016 that helped lift the Cubs to their first championship in 108 years.
“We’re very cognizant and appreciative of everything he’s done for us. Today is Yu Darvish’s day, and we’re excited to welcome him to the organization. But I think it’s appropriate to tip you cap to Jake Arrieta and wish him well.”