Jake Arrieta has emotional reaction to returning to Cubs

Jake Arrieta is back with the Chicago Cubs and “it just feels right,” the 34-year-old pitcher said during his introductory teleconference.

It’s been three years since Jake Arrieta left the Cubs for a new contract with the Phillies. Now he’s back and it feels so good.

“This is where I wanted to be,” he said during a teleconference on Saturday. “Just the past few days here, it just feels right, it feels like yesterday. Sometimes we might take time for granted a little bit too much. But the last three years have gone by pretty quickly. I’m just really excited to be with this group again.”

It’s easy to see why Arrieta is so excited to be with the Cubs again. His time in Philadelphia wasn’t exactly a fairytale. He played in 64 games over three seasons with an ERA of 4.36 while posting a 22-23 record. Injuries were a constant companion.

That’s a far cry from his glory days in Chicago, where he won a Cy Young and a World Series while tossing two no-hitters.

Jake Arrieta is coming full circle with his return to Chicago Cubs

The emotional connection to the Cubs is clear. The question is whether Arrieta can recapture some of that magic in his mid-30s. He’ll have to stay healthy first and foremost. He’ll also have to prove his declining numbers have more to do with his ailments than pure aging.

“There were some slight physical limitations, but having said that, I didn’t perform the way I was capable of,” he admitted. “But I have a lot in the tank, I have a lot to still accomplish in this game and I’m excited that it’s going to happen in this Cub uniform again.”

The Cubs and Arrieta finalized a $6 million one-year contract earlier this week. He’ll be playing for former Chicago teammate David Ross, who caught his 2016 no-hitter against the Reds.

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