I am pretty reluctant to write about the Chicago Cubs signing someone until they are actually at the podium, but it seems like Edwin Jackson is really going to the Northside. After the Cubs whiffed on Anibal Sanchez, they were still in the market for a starting pitcher, so in comes Jackson. The veteran right-hander agreed on a four-year, $52 million deal, which gives something Jackson hasn’t had in his MLB career – - security.
It’s safe to say the only player who gets around more in Major League Baseball is Octavio Dotel, but Jackson is a close second. Jackson, who was a free agent last year as well, finally got the long-term deal he has been seeking. Jackson is one of the biggest enigmas on the mound, seeing as he has the stuff any pitcher would dream of; however, Jackson has never really lived up to his potential that many thought he had.
This is a deal that won’t mean a whole lot for the Cubs this season, figuring they still won’t contend for a division title. But they do have a 200 inning horse that can anchor a rotation now and in the future. If there is one thing you know you are getting from Jackson, it’s a heavy workload that includes 200 quality innings. He probably won’t ever be a 5.0 fWAR type pitcher or anything like that, but pitchers who have averaged around 190+ innings and a 3.5 fWAR don’t grow on trees. These type of pitchers deserve to be paid, and thanks to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, Jackson got his payday.
Final verdict: Fair market value, will help the Cubs past 2013, but will hurt his trade value until his contract is close to expiring.