But the guy who starred as the ace of the Cubs’ staff during the past few seasons had one more goodbye to share with the Cubs and their fans.
Arrieta, who helped the Cubs reach three straight National League Championship Series and win that curse-smashing World Series championship in 2016, tweeted a handwritten thank you letter to the city, team and fans.
Here’s the full text of Arrieta’s letter:
“In the midst of what felt like never ending adversity and failure, I was traded to the Chicago Cubs on July 2, 2013. This day was the beginning of a four-and-a-half-year stretch that would forever change our lives. On the verge of walking away from the game I love dearly, Theo called, and the transformation began. I looked myself in the mirror, as well as my two-year-old son and pregnant wife knowing in my heart that everything was about to change.
“Chicago was our home, and will forever be a special place for my entire family. We raised our children in Wrigleyville, one of the most iconic places in all of sports. Going to work every day was an honor for many reasons, from the storied history of the organization, to the high-character individuals I was surrounded by year after year. Three consecutive NLCS appearances, two NL Central titles and a World Series championship … the first in 108 years. Childhood dreams turned reality thanks to to so many amazing people, all holding one another to a very high standard.
“I send gracious thanks to the Ricketts family and front office for their commitment to winning at any cost. Going the extra mile to take care of our families was never taken for granted. I was lucky to have dedicated teammates that willingly shed blood, sweat and tears to achieve our goals. I will miss going to battle with all of you, but look forward to competing on opposing sides moving forward. Lastly, thanks to all Cubs fans around the world for standing with us and investing in us even when times were tough. You will all be missed dearly.
Arrieta went from a struggling pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles to the 2015 NL Cy Young winner, the thrower of two no-hitters and a World Series champion in a Cubs uniform, so yeah it makes a lot of sense why he would be emotional over departing for Philadelphia.
The Cubs were relieved Arrieta landed outside of the NL Central, but the Phillies make a trip to Wrigley Field every season, which means there will be ample opportunity for fans to show their gratitude for what Arrieta did in his five seasons on the North Side.