In their search for pitching reinforcements, the San Diego Padres are reportedly set to sign former Cub Jake Arrieta.
With the placement of Yu Darvish (back) on the IL retroactive to last Friday on Sunday, the San Diego Padres are looking for some pitching. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, they are close to signing former Cub Jake Arrieta.
On Sunday, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported Arrieta was on the Padres’ radar as they talked to veteran free agents.
Arrieta was part of the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series-winning team in 2016, and he went back to the team on a one-year deal last offseason. But it did not go well, as he posted a 6.88 ERA over 20 starts (86.1 innings), and the Cubs released him last week after a rough outing against the Brewers. Over his final four starts with the Cubs, he posted a 13.83 ERA with 33 hits allowed over 13.2 innings.
What will Jake Arrieta bring to the Padres?
Arrieta’s struggles in 2021 are not a new phenomenon. The signs of regression he showed with the Cubs in 2017 continued during his time with the Philadelphia Phillies, with a 4.75 ERA over his last 33 starts for them. This year has been a little worse, with a BB/9 rate that has crept north of 4.0 (4.1) to go with being more hittable.
At his peak with the Cubs, and into his first year with the Phillies, Arrieta could be booked for 30-plus starts and 170-200 solid innings. But his regression is easily shown in traditional stats, and the bottom has come this year. To the point the Cubs weren’t willing to trot him out there anymore.
The Padres are trying to stay in thick of the NL Wild Card race and gain ground on the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West if they can. The available experienced options to take a couple turns in the starting rotation with Darvish out aren’t going to be great in mid-August. So a cheap bet that Arrieta can be propped up by better surroundings is fine.