Cubs Going to Jackson ‘Cause No One Will Come Here

Theo Epstein finally made a free-agency splash by signing Edwin Jackson to a 4-yr $52-million deal that kinda boggles the mind. Jackson was 10-11 with a 4+ ERA on the best pitching staff in baseball in a relatively friendly pitchers’ park.  Not exactly the stuff warranting a $13 Million annual salary. Jackson’s best year was 5 years ago when he went 14-11 for the Tampa Bay Rays. Jackson has pitched over 200+ innings only twice in his career and that was 3 years ago.

Epstein is trying to build a competitive ball club on the North Side with the idea that he can get athletic up the middle and stockpile young power arms to compete in the very tough NL Central; this Jackson move strays from that way of thinking.  Jackson is a mere stop gap before those younger arms are ready for the big leagues.  Scratching for a plus to the Jackson deal, the Cubs will no be required to give up compensation as part of his deal.  The Cubs would not give up a sandwich pick to sign this guy.

The Cubs have been in the market for quite some time for a veteran right-handed pitcher, but to shell out this kind of money for someone who was below five-hundred last year seems a little over the top.  The Red Sox signed Ryan Dempster for 2 years at $25 million, and other teams have shied away from that fourth year because of durability concerns.  Jackson is hardly going to make the Cubs competitive this year, but then even swapping the top 4 free agents for the Cubs’ bottom of the order wouldn’t either. The Cubs have way too much to do before they could ever find themselves in a pennant race.  Epstein knows what he’s doing yet this deal is a head-scratcher. If your going to loose 95-100 games again, why pay this sort of money to do it?

Jackson is 29 and in four years there is no way he can be expected to improve on his past accomplishments unless he goes all Bartolo Colon.