Cubs release former Cy Young winner, World Series hero Jake Arrieta after another rough start

·2-min read

The Chicago Cubs have cut ties with another hero of their 2016 World Series run.

On Thursday, they released starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, placing him on unconditional waivers. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer announced the move, telling the reporters the decision was made Wednesday night after Arrieta allowed eight earned runs in a 10-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. 

“It was the right thing to do for him," Hoyer said, per the Chicago Tribune. "... For us it just seemed like the right time. Nothing that happened on the mound last night or the other nights in any way diminishes his role in club history. 

"I think when you look back there’s a really good argument to say he’s one of the more influential people in the history of this franchise."

Hoyer: 'This guy's a legend here'

Thus ends Arrieta's second stint with the franchise he helped lead to its first World Series win in 108 years. The story of that 2016 World Series win can't be told without him. The right-handed pitcher started and won two games in Chicago's 4-3 series win over Cleveland to secure its first championship since 1908. He allowed one earned run in a 5-1 Game 2 victory and two earned runs in a 9-3 Game 6 win that saw him record nine strikeouts.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs walks back to the dugout during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
The Cubs have cut ties with another core player from their 2016 World Series. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

During a five-season stint with the Cubs from 2013-17, Arrieta posted a 68-31 record while never recording a season-long ERA higher than 3.66. He won the NL Cy Young award in 2015 while posting a 22-6 record with a 1.77 ERA and 0.865 WHIP. He made his only All-Star team during the 2016 World Series season.

He left for the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent in 2018 before returning to Chicago this season at 35 years old. His second stint did not go as hoped. He finishes 2021 with the Cubs with a 5-11 record and 6.88 ERA over 20 starts. The blowup against the Brewers on Wednesday was the final straw. 

"Other guys probably had longer careers, probably put up some more numbers, but when you look at what the apex of his career was here ... you can argue he had as much influence in that or as much to do with that as any single player," Hoyer said.

“Nothing at all this year diminishes what he’s done — this guy’s a legend here.”

Arrieta's the latest core player from the 2016 World Series run to leave the Chicago this season. The Cubs traded Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline. 

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