Jake Arrieta back with Cubs, finalizes $6M, 1-year contract

CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta returned to the Chicago Cubs, finalizing a $6 million, one-year contract on Wednesday.

Arrieta can earn $1 million in performance bonuses under the deal.

To open a roster spot, the Cubs placed left-hander Kyle Ryan on the COVID-19 related injured list.

The 34-year-old Arrieta won the NL Cy Young Award with Chicago in 2015 and helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series for their first championship since 1908. He went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in 128 starts over five years in his first stint with the team.

While the reunion is a feel-good story for the reigning NL Central champions after a tough winter, Arrieta hasn’t experienced the same level of success since he left Chicago after the 2017 season.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander signed a $75 million, three-year contract with Philadelphia in free agency and went 22-23 with a 4.36 ERA in 64 starts with the Phillies. He had a 4-4 record and a 5.08 ERA in nine starts last year during the pandemic-shortened season.

Arrieta rejoined a team with a new-look rotation after the Cubs traded Yu Darvish to San Diego in December and let Jon Lester depart for Washington in free agency. Arrieta also reunited with David Ross, who caught the second of Arrieta’s two no-hitters and guided Chicago into the playoffs last year in his first season as a big league manager.