With spring training well underway down in Clearwater, Florida, the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies roster surely has a different look and feel than previous seasons.
If you take a glance over at the roster of the National League Central’s Chicago Cubs, however, you will find several familiar faces. Here are five former Phillies vying for a Cubs roster spot this spring.
1. Jake Arrieta
Turning down higher offers elsewhere, Jake Arrieta returns to the team with whom he won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award and 2016 World Series championship. The Cubs signed him earlier this month on a one-year, $6 million deal with a $10 million mutual option for the 2022 season.
This reunion has an Allen Iverson pairing with the 2009 Philadelphia 76ers type of feel, as Arrieta is a shell of the former elite pitcher he once was. The Phillies saw that first-hand over the past three seasons in his $75 million contract. Through 64 starts in red pinstripes, Arrieta posted a disappointing 22-23 record, 4.36 ERA, 1.387 WHIP, and 280-124 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 352 2/3 innings.
Arrieta joins the Cubs rotation that also features right-handers Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies, among others. The Phillies, meanwhile, recently added veterans Chase Anderson and Matt Moore to compete in the latter half of the rotation, behind right-handers Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin. The Phillies and then-general manager Matt Klentak had high hopes that Arrieta could be an ace behind Nola, but that never came to fruition. Wheeler is ultimately now filling that role.