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Jake Arrieta, polarizing?

What is his tenure in Philadelphia really going to be known for?

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The numbers

9 GS, 44 IP, 51 H, 25 R, 6 HR, 16 BB, 32 K, 5.08 ERA (4.66 FIP)

The good

Arrieta was actually not that bad in 2020. Outside of one bad start at the end of August where he gave up seven runs in 1 13 innings, he was pretty reliable with what he was going to give the team. You knew you were going to get five innings of work, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. In those five innings, the opposition was going to score anywhere from zero to four runs. There might be some walks sprinkled in here and there, a ton of hits, but if the defense was tight that day, then Arrieta usually stood a chance.

The bad

Unfortunately, those five innings that Arrieta was only able to go every day? That meant exposing the bullpen for four, sometimes more, innings that it should have been exposed.

And that was the issue with Arrieta throughout his tenure here. It was just a continuation of what he did while in the red pinstripes. You could almost never depend on him to give the team a quality start by the standards of 6 IP/3 R or less. Now, he did have 27 quality starts out of his 64 starts in Philadelphia, but 15 of those came in his first season, 2018. That means of his other 49 starts here, only 12 were of the “quality” variety. It was a recurring issue while Arrieta was here, where he just didn’t give the team a chance to win as often as he would have like to.

The future

Well, as of now, Arrieta isn’t a Phillie. His options was (rightfully) declined as the money he was to be paid was nowhere near what he would have been able to provide the team.

It’s kind of a sad end for Arrieta. While he was never really expected to produce anywhere close to what he did during his heyday in Chicago, he happened to get caught up in the free agent market that wasn’t about to pay a player like him anywhere close to what he wanted.

Think about it.

In the year Arrieta became a free agent, there was a plethora of players that had to wait forever to get paid what they believed was fair. Last year, some of the owners were spending like drunken sailors. Would Arrieta have received only three year offers this past offseason coming off of a 30 start season where he registered an ERA of 3.53, his numbers in 2017? It’s possible, especially with Dallas Keuchel getting a three year deal after a season of very similar numbers. However, it’s doubtful that Arrieta would have had to wait until so late until the offseason to sign his deal, something he had to do when signing with the Phillies.

The issue with Arrieta is that he just never really seemed to fit in here. There always seemed to be blame to go somewhere else whenever a start went bad. Whether he was going to put a dent in someone’s skull or what have you, his personality was just always not what we were looking for as a fanbase. His first year was pretty good, but there was just a constant bad taste in your mouth watching him pitch.

But we’ve always got this.