Jake Arrieta explains why he almost quit baseball before joining the Cubs

Jon Durr/Getty Images

It’s easy to forget that Jake Arrieta wasn’t always a Cy Young Award contender capable of tossing a no-hitter just about every time he steps on the mound.

However, before his trade to the Cubs midway through the 2013 season, Arrieta’s career was floundering as he bounced between the Orioles and their minor-league affiliates. It was so frustrating that the right-hander actually gave serious consideration to walking away from the sport, as he detailed to CSN Chicago:

“We were at a point where I had other things that I could segue into and establish a career elsewhere. Not that I wanted that to happen, but I didn’t want to continue to go through the things we were going through and moving from place to place in the minor leagues at 25, 26 years old.

“Baseball is something that I’ve loved to do since I was a little kid, but it’s not everything. I had to reevaluate some things. I knew I could always pitch this way, but there were times where it seemed like maybe I wasn’t going to get to that point.

“It’s just part of life that we had to deal with.”

At the time of the trade from Baltimore to Chicago, Arrieta had posted a 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts) in the majors and had spent four different stints at Triple-A. But then everything clicked with the Cubs, resulting in two no-hitters, an NL Cy Young Award, an All-Star appearance and a 52-18 record with a 2.42 ERA.

Good thing Arrieta thought long and hard before hanging up his cleats.

Jake Arrieta celebrates after no-hitting the Reds in April. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)