clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bare Cub: Arrieta embraced chance to pose, hang out in desert

Jake Arrieta (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Ever since word got out that Jake Arrieta is in this summer’s

“Body Issue” of ESPN The Magazine, the Cubs ace keeps getting the same question.

“Everybody’s like, `So what’d you do with your junk?’ “ he said.

Arrieta, who might be the most fitness-obsessed player in baseball, is one of 19 athletes to appear nude in strategic poses for the annual issue, due out next month.

His shoot was done during spring training, “out in the middle of the desert.”

Talk about exposure.

Arrieta, 30, who often conducts postgame interviews in a tank top (and occasionally shirtless), said the unusually bare nature of the photo session wasn’t especially uncomfortable for him.

“Not really. They were pros,” said Arrieta, who pitched five innings against the Cardinals on Wednesday. “You’ve seen the issues in years past, and they just do such a good job with it. I knew it was going to be a lot of fun.

“And I talked to [past subject Bryce] Harper about it. I talked to some people that were in it that had a blast.”

In fact, he said, “It was something that a couple years ago I thought might be a possibility. And then they called me.”

His first move was to ask his wife, Brittany, what she thought.

“She said, `You’d better do it,’ “ he said. “ `OK, here we go.’ “

Arrieta’s Pilates-based workout regiment has gained such notoriety that the Cubs included a Pilates room off their new clubhouse, and video of his workouts appear during games on the left-field video board.

Between his results on the mound in recent years and the physique, he said he’s heard of whispers from opposing players that he uses performance-enhancing drugs. He scoffs at the speculation and advocates for stricter testing and penalties for PED use in baseball.

“I eat plants,” said the kale-loading pitcher.

All of which made “Body by Jake” and the “Body Issue” a match made in the Sonoran Desert.

“Yeah, I couldn’t turn it down,” he said. “It’s just something that when I’m old and fat, I can show [son] Cooper and say, `Hey, man, Daddy used to be in good shape.’ “

Which leaves just one question unanswered.

The junk?

“Well, it was just hanging out,” he said. “It was there.”