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

CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta won a Cy Young Award, threw two no-hitters and helped end a championship drought in his first go-around with the Chicago Cubs.

If his second tenure goes anything like that, they sure would take it.

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

He can earn $1 million in performance bonuses for innings under the deal: $250,000 each for 150, 160, 170 and 180.

“This guy’s been battle tested,” manager David Ross said. “He’s got the mentality. He’s got the poise. And that example, just how he goes about his preparation, how he goes about his performance and that presence that he has, I think … just kind of bleeds out to the other guys.”

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

Chicago also agreed to contracts with veteran relievers Brandon Workman and Pedro Strop, people familiar with the deals said.

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.

“I got to talk to the pitchers today,” Ross said. “Just staring into that group and then locking eyes with him, it was a nice sight from the manager’s seat, that’s for sure.”

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 as a free agent 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.

“I think Jake feels like he has something to prove,” Ross said. “I think he is really comfortable here in his Cubs uniform and has got a longstanding history. I’ve watched him perform at his best. I know him, he’s trying to get back to that version — or as close as he can to that.”

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