Sports

Jake Arrieta writes of 'dreams turned reality' in farewell letter to Cubs

Jake Arrieta writes of 'dreams turned reality' in farewell letter to Cubs

Arrieta, one of the top free agents on the market this offseason, waited until two weeks before Opening Day to finalize a guaranteed three-year, $75 million deal that could max out at five years and $135 million. The Phillies open the season on March 29 in Atlanta against the Braves. Not only to pitch, but to win with the Phillies. He can opt out of the deal after 2019, and the Phillies have the ability to void the opt-out and exercise a two-year option that could keep him with the organization through 2022.

While the Phillies have not been contending over the past six years, and while they are in the middle of rebuilding, they feel like they can go out and win as well in 2018.

Arrieta won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Chicago Cubs and helped them win the World Series the next season, going 2-0 in a seven-game series against the Indians. He spent four and a half seasons there and it was where he re-invented himself.

Arrieta began his big league career with the Baltimore Orioles in 2010 but matured as a pitcher after getting traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2013. Last year, Philadelphia's starters ranked 10th in the NL with a 4.80 ERA and ninth with a 2.48 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Past year he struggled with inconsistencies as he posted a 4.16 FIP in 168.1 innings and lost a few ticks on his fastball, but in the end he showed there is still enough talent in him to be effective in the future.

More news: Warriors announce that Stephen Curry is out least the next four games

"My body is in tremendous shape", Arrieta said.

Jake Arrieta said goodbye Monday night.

"A message I want to send to not only the players, but Philadelphia in general and the entire Phillies nation", Arrieta, 32, said, "is that what we're going to do here is, we're going to promise a fight".

Past year the Phillies had a respectable second half after a miserable first half.

"We showed [last year] we had some pretty good players", Hoskins said. At the same time, the team, through the play of young building blocks such as starting pitcher Aaron Nola and slugger Rhys Hoskins, had gone 37-36 over their final 73 games, which the front office took as a signal the corner had been turned. In a news conference at Spectrum Field, he made it clear he thinks the Phillies are further along in their rebuild than public perception suggests. Coming off a last-place finish, that team was considered a year or two from contention but wound up winning a wild-card berth and reaching the NLCS. It may be possible, but the near future of the Phillies looks a bit brighter now.