RHP Jackson hopes to bring winning touch to Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Edwin Jackson keeps bouncing around, and he thinks he knows why.
"I think everybody likes me," he said.
The 29-year-old right-hander might find some stability now that he has a four-year, $52 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.
The team announced the move on Wednesday after reaching an agreement last month, giving the Cubs a durable starter to add to their rotation as they try to dig themselves out from a 101-loss season.
Jackson is now on his eighth team in 11 years, including a run with the crosstown White Sox, and is 70-71 lifetime with a 4.40 ERA. He made the All-Star team with Detroit in 2009 and pitched a no-hitter for Arizona in 2010. He has also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Washington, going 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA for the NL East champion Nationals last season.
He has made at least 31 starts in each of the past six seasons while reaching double digits in wins and exceeding 180 innings the past five. That includes three straight seasons of at least 199 2-3 innings from 2009 to 2011, and the Cubs believe he will still be effective once they're ready to contend, which they hope is sooner than later.
"I think we've been really consistent in saying the value of every individual season is precious," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "We want to put a great team on the field every year. We've also been clear that we're building for something we think is going to be very special, and we want to make sure that any free agent signings of this magnitude really fit in with this plan. Like I said, Edwin is 29 years old. He's already had six consecutive seasons making 31-plus starts. He's proven his durability. He's proven his durability. He's proven his talent, but he's also still at an age where we think he can get even better and at an age where he fits right in with what we're trying to do, age-wise and talent-wise with our roster."
The fact that Jackson's played on so many teams? That didn't bother the Cubs.
Hoyer said Jackson probably wasn't ready when he debuted at age 20 with the Dodgers, and he attributed the more recent moves to the inability to sign him to an extension.