Jake Arrieta Released by Cubs After Telling Reporter to Remove His Mask

Arrieta was placed on unconditional release waivers, ending his second tenure with the team

Jake Arrieta
Pitcher Jake Arrieta has been cut by the Chicago Cubs.
G Fiume/Getty Images

Following the departures of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez at the trade deadline, another player who helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2016 is on his way out of the Windy City.

The NL Cy Young Award winner in 2015 after leading the majors with 22 wins, Jake Arrieta was placed on unconditional release waivers by the Cubs on Thursday, ending his second tenure with the team. Arrieta, who first played for the Cubs from 2013 to 2017, agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs in February.

That deal did not prove to be a good one for either side, as the 35-year-old has been awful this season and had accumulated a 6.88 ERA and 5-11 record this season prior to his release. Arrieta pitched last night and had one of the worst outings of his career, facing 11 hitters and allowing eight hits along with seven runs in the first inning of a 10-0 loss to the Brewers at Wrigley Field.

“It’s tough,” Arrieta said after the game. “Made quite a few good pitches and they found holes, whether it was in the infield or the outfield. Only one or two balls that were really hit hard. But obviously it accumulated.”

Responding to a question about mentoring young pitchers via Zoom, Arrieta looked at the screen and told a reporter “I’d love you to take your mask off. I don’t think anybody’s around you,” according to The Athletic.

Given the way he performed on the mound this year and carried himself off of it, it’s not all that surprising the Cubs decided to part ways with the former star pitcher. While possibly intimidating to team reporters, Arrieta has been far from that to opposing hitters as he hasn’t notched a win nor gotten out of the sixth inning since May and the Cubs have a 6-14 record in games he has started this season.

Despite his excessive struggles this season, there’s a chance Arrieta latches on with another team that still thinks he has something left in the tank as a low-cost option at the back of the bullpen. His days of starting may be done.

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