The ex Cub is going to the City Of Brotherly Love, ending a remarkable chapter in his career.
Here we are less than three weeks away from Opening Day. And the Jake Arrieta signing circus conducted by Scott Boras has finally come to a close. It was announced on Sunday that the former Cubs ace (finally, I can officially say that) is heading to Philadelphia on a three year $75 million dollar deal.
A massive weight was lifted off of my shoulders when I first heard this news. The signing of Yu Darvish, which effectively destroyed any hopes of Jake returning, feels like an eternity ago. And with every passing day the bearded righty remained unsigned, the rumors continued to grow.
“Dexter Fowler came back late in free agency and signed a one year deal in ’16, why can’t Jake”? “Joe Maddon’s always wanted to have a six man starting rotation”. These theories played like a broken record in my head to the point of insanity. A six man rotation with five aces? That team realistically doesn’t lose a game until August.
These rumors needed to END and never be spoken into existence for the rest of time. Sunday these rumors were ended by Philly, and thank god it was Philly because other potential landing spots for Jake were St. Louis and Milwaukee. Where I’m one million percent positive Jake would have been the most ruthless Cub killer of all time.
Other than being relieved, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this. It doesn’t feel right to be sad. Hopes of seeing #49 in Cubbie blue really died a slow and painful death this offseason after he sold his Chicago home and Yu was signed.
At this point the best thing Cubs fans can do is acknowledge that Jake was either going to die a hero or live long enough to see himself become the villain. Yes, he’s still a quality starter but his play has been steadily declining since his immaculate 2015, and the teams looking to offer him a contract knew this.
To the Philly fans, this means they’ll never know the Jake the northsiders knew. Although Jake definitely has gas left in the tank after posting a 2.28 post all star break ERA last year, it’s impossible to recreate what he did in 2014-2015.
Cubs fans and only Cubs fans will remember the Jake the two time no hitter architect, Jake the Cy Young winner, and Jake the cornerstone of a World Series winning ball club. Goodbye Jake, this time its official. I’ll still be watching you from afar while you make the NL East fear the beard.