Jake Arrieta Holding Showcase Friday, ‘Some Interest in Cubs Reunion’

Add Jake Arrieta to the growing list of buy-low pitchers with Cubs or Chicago ties who’ve been linked back to the team in recent days. The 2015 Cy Young winner is holding a showcase for teams as he attempts to land another deal following three disappointing seasons in Philadelphia. Since leaving the Cubs in free agency following the 2017 season, Arrieta’s 4.36 ERA and 1.39 WHIP are a far cry from his elite numbers over the previous five seasons.

His velocity has dropped off precipitously from that incredible performance six years ago, but it’s held somewhat steady since a big dip in ’17. He’s increased his changeup usage as a countermeasure and has essentially ditched the four-seam altogether, going strictly with the sinker that has always anchored his repertoire. Trouble is, Arrieta’s secondary pitches have “flattened” out with age, meaning more barrels and fewer whiffs.

Like it or not, this could be the kind of move the Cubs make in the hopes that Arrieta can rediscover a little magic in a return engagement. They’re going to use a lot of pitching depth, so they don’t need him to be a workhorse. Perhaps that would even allow him to cut it loose a little more and crank the velo up a couple ticks. Despite the numbers saying Father Time has caught him, Arrieta will only be 35 in March and may still have gas in the tank.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough one way or the other.

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