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Return to the North Side was the ‘right fit’ at the right time for Jake Arrieta

“I felt comfortable and confident that we were going to get a deal done,” Arrieta said on Saturday.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

MESA, Ariz. — The reunion between the Cubs and Jake Arrieta was late to develop, but even early in camp, it’s clear that everyone involved is happy with their longtime ace’s return.

Arrieta had options during free agency, and after putting everything on the table, the decision to return to the Cubs became a no-brainer.

“It took a little while to develop and materialize,” Arrieta said Saturday, “but [I] had several conversations with [president Jed Hoyer] and other people in the organization. [Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy], [bullpen coach Chris Young], Dave Ross and some of the players, and it just felt like the right fit.

“I felt comfortable and confident that we were going to get a deal done. This is where I wanted to be. And just the past few days here, it just feels right. It feels like yesterday, and sometimes we might take time for granted a little bit too much. But the last three years have gone by pretty quickly and just really excited to be with this group.”

Unique introduction for Williams

Right-hander Trevor Williams is getting acclimated with his new club, but unlike a normal year when he could see faces without masks and get facial expressions, Williams is trying to introduce himself safely in a COVID world.

“It is interesting. I’ve gotten really good at the eyeball squint smile,” Williams said with a laugh. “But it is an interesting dynamic because I felt like a new kid at school for the first time, but I didn’t have the ability to stand in front of the class and introduce myself and shake everybody’s hand. So we’re taking it as it is.

“Once we get last names on our jersey, once we put uniforms on, it’ll be a little bit easier. But everybody has been good.”

Winter weather affects spring training

You don’t need to tell anyone in Chicago the recent stretch of weather has been rough, but last week’s winter storm that affected most of the country has impacted the arrival schedule of several Cubs. Outfielder Ian Happ told 670 The Score that his travel plans had been affected.

“We actually have a couple of guys [affected]. [Run production coordinator] Jim Adduci is not here yet,” Ross said. “He lives in Texas, and he texted me the other day. He’s supposed to be here tomorrow. Some guys [dealing with] weather, some guys health, some guys testing. All those things have come into play, with the coaching staff included.”

Cubs make Marisnick deal official

The Cubs made the signing of outfielder Jake Marisnick official. The one-year deal includes a mutual option for the 2022 -season. Marisnick will be the Cubs’ fourth outfielder and provide a big boost on -defense.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Phillip Ervin was designated for assignment. The Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 40 players, with the team’s first full-squad workout set for Monday.