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San Diego Padres signing former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta

San Diego Padres, Jake Arrieta
Apr 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) walks to dugout after delivering against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are signing starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, closing in on a one-year deal with the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner days after being released by the Chicago Cubs.

Arrieta, who spent six years in Chicago, is expected to join the Padres in the coming days. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the two sides would finalize a contract.

Chicago placed Arrieta on release waivers following a disastrous start on Aug. 11. In his final appearance, Arrieta allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs in just four innings. It marked the fifth consecutive start that the veteran righty didn’t reach the fifth inning.

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  • San Diego Padres rotation stats: 4.30 ERA, 9.80 K/9, 1.16 HR/9 across 564.2 innings

After acquiring Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove this offseason, San Diego’s rotation was its greatest strength early in the season. But injuries and inconsistency have sent the Padres tumbling down the standings.

In the second half of the season, San Diego’s rotation ERA is 5.56 with a 3.19 BB/9 and opponents have a .270 batting average against the Padres’ starters during that stretch.

Desperately needing rotation depth, San Diego is hoping it gets a better version of Arrieta than the Cubs experienced.

In Arrieta’s first five starts, the 2016 All-Star posted a 2.57 ERA and held opponents to a .210 batting average. But in his final 14 starts with the Cubs, opponents hit .344 off him with 16 home runs.

With Darvish on the injured list, Arrieta should immediately find a spot in the rotation.