Jake Arrieta writes of ‘dreams turned reality’ in farewell letter to Cubs

MESA, Ariz. — Jake Arrieta said goodbye Monday night.

In a Twitter post entitled “Chicago,” the Phillies’ new three-year, $75 million man shared an image of a handwritten note that began with his recollection of joining the Cubs.

“In the midst of what felt like never ending adversity and failure, I was traded to the Cubs on July 2nd, 2013,” Arrieta wrote. “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 [Epstein] 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.”

In four-plus seasons with the Cubs, Arrieta won 68 games and had a 2.73 ERA. There were no-hitters, a Cy Young award, World Series victories — in all, his performance made him one of the greats in club history.

“Going to work every day was an honor for many reasons,” he wrote, “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.”

Arrieta signed “49” after these closing words:

“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 opposite 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. Thanks for the memories.”

Follow me on Twitter @slgreenberg.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com