Tag: Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson to Marlins: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Miami Marlins officially signed starting pitcher Edwin Jackson on Wednesday with hopes of bolstering their rotation.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com confirmed the addition to the team’s staff.

Mike Axisa of CBS Sports noted Jackson is slated to receive the league minimum ($507,500) from Miami while still getting the remaining portion of his 2016 salary ($13 million) from the Cubs. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman previously reported the deal is expected to include a no-trade clause, as well.

Jackson spent last season working out of the bullpen during stints with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. He posted a solid 3.07 ERA and 1.17 WHIP across 47 appearances while striking out 40 batters in 55.2 innings.

Those numbers represented a nice turnaround after a disastrous 2014 campaign with Chicago that saw him go 6-15 with a 6.33 in 28 games (27 starts).

He should get an opportunity to earn a place in the starting rotation during spring training. The Marlins have a promising one-two punch in Jose Fernandez and Wei-Yin Chen—the latter signed a five-year deal Tuesday, as reported to Buster Olney of ESPN—but the team is looking to fill the remaining spots.

Jackson is likely to battle the likes of Tom Koehler, Brad Hand, Jarred Cosart and David Phelps for the final three spots on the starting staff.

Control is the most important factor. He’s finished with an ERA below 4.00 just twice in his eight seasons as a full-time starter. In both cases, his walks per nine were below three. By comparison, his career mark in the category is 3.51 per nine, per Fangraphs.

The good news for Miami is Jackson’s reliable work out of the bullpen last season means they can shift him there if his efforts to lock up a rotation spot fall short. It should help him become a useful piece of the staff in one form or another in 2016.


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Breaking Down Each Candidate for the Chicago Cubs 2014 Starting Rotation

Believe it or not, there is relief from the polar vortex that has been sweeping the nation.

Just close your eyes.

Picture yourself in beautiful, 70-degree Mesa, Arizona. The sun is baking down on you as you watch the Cubs stroll out to the practice field. First baseman Anthony Rizzo waves as a little boy in a Cubs hat asks for his autograph.

You can feel the energy around you, like the ninth inning of a close game in September. There’s no salt or brown slush on the ground, only the flurry of baseballs flying through the air.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Spring training will soon be upon us, but not soon enough. The Cubs have made some small moves in the 2013-14 offseason, including the signing of pitchers Wesley Wright and Jose Veras.

Pitching was a large concern for the Cubs in 2013, predominantly the bullpen. However, the starting pitching was much more solid. In fact, the Cubs’ lone representation in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game was starting pitcher Travis Wood.

The rotation is far from set. In fact, even the Cubs’ projected No. 1 starter Jeff Samardzija isn’t a lock for the rotation. Rumors have been constantly swirling about the possibility of the Cubs trading Samardzija over the offseason. However, those rumors have died down since Cubs President of Operations stated that Samardzija is the Cubs’ Opening Day starter as of right now. Most recent reports state that the two sides are quite far apart and that Samardzija will remain with the Cubs until the trade deadline.

The Cubs may also shake up the rotation by signing Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka, who is in the process of meeting both Chicago teams this week. If the Cubs sign him, they would have to pay both his contract as well as the $20 million posting fee for Tanaka.

First, let’s take a look at last year’s starting rotation. Nine players started at least one game for the Cubs in 2013.

 Pitcher  W  L  ERA  IP  H  SO

 J. Samardzija

 8  13  4.34  213.2  210  214
 T. Wood  9  12  3.11  200.0  163  144
 E. Jackson  8  18  4.98  175.1  197  135
 *S. Feldman  7  6  3.46  91.0  79  67
 C. Villanueva  1  7  4.50  90.0 83 65
 C. Rusin  2  6  3.93  66.1  66  36
 *M. Garza  6  1  3.17  71.0  61  62
 J. Arrieta  4  2  3.66  51.2  34  37
 *S. Baker  0  0  3.60  15.0  9

*= Indicates a player no longer with the team.

Jeff Samardzija

Let’s assume that Samardzija remains with the Cubs. His camp has already expressed interest in signing a long-term deal for the Cubs. As Cubs beat reporter Carrie Muskat writes, Samardzija would receive about $5 million in arbitration and mentions that that is a good amount for a starting pitcher nowadays.

As mentioned earlier, Cubs president Theo Epstein openly said during the winter meetings that Samardzija would be the Cubs starter on Opening Day. No other reports suggesting otherwise have surfaced since then.

Samardzija is a powerful right-handed pitcher, standing at 6’5″. His team-leading 240 strikeouts were 70 more than second place in the Cubs rotation. Only two other pitchers even reached 70 strikeouts all last season.

Travis Wood

Travis Wood was a pleasant surprise for Cubs fans in 2013. Wood struggled in his first season with the Cubs, posting a 4.27 ERA in 156 innings. However, Wood found his groove in 2013 by posting a 3.11 ERA in 200.0 innings. Wood was also elected to his first All-Star Game.

Wood is eligible for arbitration this offseason. He has stated in the past that he wants to come to an extension with the Cubs. Last season, Wood made only $527,500.

Wood is a solid middle-rotation starter. Despite being an All-Star, Wood won’t demand a huge contract.

Edwin Jackson

We’ll be as polite as possible with Edwin Jackson here. The 30-year-old right-hander struggled last season, losing 18 games and posting a rough 4.98 ERA in 175.1 innings pitched.

Jackson’s command was an issue last season. He threw 14 wild pitches, an average of one per every 12.5 innings pitched. In 31 games started, he totaled an average of 5.65 innings per start compared to Jeff Samardzija‘s team-high of 6.46 innings per start and Travis Wood’s 6.25 innings per start.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, Jackson is almost guaranteed a spot in the rotation simply because of his lucrative contract. Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million contract and will make $13 million in 2014 including his $2 million signing bonus.

Maybe the Cubs should just stop paying players. Okay, so they can’t do that. However, the performance of Edwin Jackson after receiving his $52 million contract is the exact opposite of the performance of Travis Wood, who received only $527,500 in his All-Star season.

Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin was already being forecasted to be a member of the 2014 Cubs starting rotation as early as last September, and that prediction is likely to come true. Rusin‘s solid 3.93 ERA is lower than both Samardzija‘s and Jackson’s.

Rusin will make $500,000 in 2014 and is not eligible for arbitration until 2017.

At only 27 years of age, Rusin could be a solid starter for the Cubs that doesn’t require a lucrative paycheck. He has logged less than 100 major league innings is career, which could be both a positive and a negative for him due to his lack of experience but still young arm.

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta‘s situation is quite similar to that of Chris Rusin but minus an injury. Arrieta is also 27 years of age and is scheduled to make around $500,000 ($516,500 to be exact) and also pitched under 100 innings last season. His ERA was a solid 3.66.

Because of Arrieta‘s youth and small contract, he will likely find himself in the rotation in 2014.

We will begin to find out more about the look of the Cubs’ rotation once pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13. The future of Japanese ace Tanaka will also be decided by Jan. 24, with him either signing with an MLB team or returning to Japan.

Until then, Cubs fans have the three-day Cubs Convention to look forward to this Friday through Sunday in Chicago’s Sheraton Towers.

*All Stats courtesty of MLB.com unless noted otherwise.

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San Diego Padres Are Looking to Sign Pitcher Edwin Jackson

Most of the big free-agent names in Major League Baseball are off of the board now, allowing teams that came up short in the Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke and B. J. Upton sweepstakes to try and find a consolation prize.

Free-agent starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, who pitched well if not spectacularly for the Washington Nationals last season, is still available. And according to the Twitter feed of Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the San Diego Padres are “strongly pursuing” Jackson.

San Diego would be Jackson’s seventh big-league team in his 11 seasons. The well-traveled right-hander has packed a lot into those years, including an All-Star appearance with the 2009 Detroit Tigers.

He threw one of the ugliest no-hitters in history on June 25, 2010 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may have walked eight in the 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was still a no-hitter, something the Padres have never had in their history.

Jackson has pitched in a pair of World Series and was a member of the 2011 world champion Cardinals, where he won the critical Game 4 of the Division Series against the Phillies, holding off elimination in the process.

That’s enough for anyone to consider plenty for an entire career. But Jackson will only be 29 next season.

If healthy, he can provide the Padres with around 200 solid, if not Cy Young-worthy, innings. For a team with lots of young talent that happens to play in a pitchers’ ballpark, Jackson would be a welcome addition.

Put Jackson on a rotation along with Clayton Richard, Edinson Volquez, Eric Stults and Jason Marquis, then maybe the team that finished the year 48-36 can continue its winning ways.

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5 Free Agents the Minnesota Twins Should Splurge on

Unlike my previous articles which focused on the Pioneer Press‘ Tom Powers’ idea that the “Minnesota Twins need more useful players, not stars,” this article looks at a different side to Minnesota’s typical strict budget roster moves.

It is not normal for the Twins to rebuild by stacking their team full of proven stars.  However, after two horrible seasons, is it time to break this mold? The following article reviews five free agents the Twins should consider splurging on for 2013 (to rebuild their rotation and jump start the offense).

Note: All players were listed as Free Agents when this article was written, via BaseballReference.com and MLBTradeRumors.com.

Begin Slideshow

Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler Can Silentely Replace Stephen Strasburg

BREAKING NEWS: Stephen Strasburg has an innings limit.

Okay, so it’s not really breaking news at this point. Strasburg’s innings limit and inevitable shutdown have been the baseball equivalent in media coverage to Tim Tebow and the New York Jets.

During all the hubbub, the Washington Nationals have enjoyed a record-breaking season. They’ve won a franchise-record 82 games entering play on Tuesday, and that’s a number that will almost assuredly increase over the final 28 games of the regular season.

They’re pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot at this point—barring a Boston or Atlanta-like collapse—so the now finalized shutdown of Strasburg has generated a lot of controversy amongst fans of the team and fans of the sport in general.

While many argue that Strasburg should remain active for the postseason because of his impact on the rotation, there are an equal number of those who oppose such an opinion.

Even though Strasburg is likely the most dominant pitcher on the team, those opposers recognize the fact that both Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler are silently having very nice seasons.

Jackson, although he sports a pedestrian 8-9 record, has an impressive 3.53 ERA and has given the Nationals a strong 158 innings.

Detwiler has been equally as impressive. His 9-6 record is slightly more impressive than Jackson’s, as is his 3.15 ERA. He has provided a quality 140 innings, as evidenced by his 1.157 WHIP.

While each pitcher is far from the dominant Strasburg, they will both be able to provide quality innings in the postseason. With the Nationals offense now becoming somewhat of a strength, Jackson and Detwiler will be more than capable of handling the load in October.

Detwiler has been a nice surprise this season, but Jackson was brought in for this sort of thing. He was a nice piece on the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series team, and the Nationals will be looking for him to provide some postseason leadership.

Even with Strasburg shutdown for this upcoming postseason, the Nationals need not worry. There’s no denying the fact that they are a better team with him in the rotation, but it’s unfair to overlook the exploits of Detwiler and Jackson, two very dependable pitchers in their own right. 

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MLB Trade Rumors: Could Washington Replace Stephen Strasburg with Ryan Dempster?

Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit has been one of the hotter topics in baseball, and it’s clear that the Washington Nationals will have a tough decision to make.

However, it seems like the Nationals are already preparing to move on without Strasburg.

According to MLB.com, Washington has interest in Ryan Dempster and Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez. The Nationals have John Lannan in the minors, but they would definitely benefit from trading for Dempster.

The consistent ace is 5-3 with a league-leading 1.86 ERA this year. A lot of teams will be pursuing Dempster, since Chicago is looking to stockpile prospects for future success. Washington has a great farm system, so they could definitely make a trade.

If the Nationals did trade for Dempster, they would probably have Strasburg, Dempster, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Edwin Jackson in their rotation. After Strasburg leaves, Ross Detwiler would join the rotation.

Washington would have to give up a lot, but it would definitely be worth it. Dempster is a great pitcher who could really help the Nationals. Even if the Nationals decided to keep Strasburg in the rotation, Dempster would still help the team and just make the best pitching staff in baseball even better.

The team’s four best pitchers would wreak havoc on the league and greatly enhance Washington’s chances of winning a championship. Just imagine a playoff rotation of Dempster, Gonzalez, Strasburg and Zimmerman (if Strasburg pitches). All have ERA’s under 3, and all have a WHIP under 1.12.

If the Nationals didn’t trade for Dempster, they would probably call up John Lannan to pitch in September. Lannan has had a nice career in Washington, but he is 6-8 with a 4.60 ERA with Triple-A Syracuse. Dempster is definitely better than Lannan, and he would definitely help the Nationals a lot.

Washington is known for having a young, well-rounded team. They have the lowest team ERA in baseball, even though two inconsistent pitchers, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler, reside in their rotation. Just imagine how much better the rotation would be with Dempster, even if Strasburg gets shut down or skipped.

Dempster would welcome a trade to just about any contender, and, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, he would likely be happy with a trade to Washington. Dempster is in the last year of his contract, but Washington could re-sign him and have he, Strasburg, Zimmerman and Gonzalez dominate hitters for a couple more years.

It will take a lot, but the Nationals would definitely benefit from trading a few prospects for Dempster. Washington would undoubtedly have the best rotation in baseball during the month of August, and they would still have a great rotation without Strasburg in September. If the Nats re-signed Dempster, they’d have the best rotation for a few more years.

And it’s always good to have the best rotation. The Nationals may have the best rotation right now, but in September, their pitching will take a major hit. If Strasburg is shut down and Dempster isn’t brought in to Washington, imagine how Jackson and Detwiler would pitch in the playoffs.

I’m sure Nationals fans don’t want to imagine that. So that’s why the Nats need to bring in Dempster. 

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Edwin Jackson Fires Back, As Nats Drop O’s

On Friday, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel dominated the Washington Nationals in a 2-1 Orioles victory at Camden Yards.

Saturday, Washington hurler Edwin Jackson returned the favor.

Jackson tossed 6 1/3 strong innings, as the Nationals beat the Orioles 3-1.

Jackson surrendered just one earned run on four hits, while striking out five on the night. With the victory, Jackson goes to 4-4 on the season and his ERA shrinks to 2.91.

Tyler Clippard picked up the save for the Nationals—his 11th.

Wei-Yin Chen took the loss for the Orioles. The rookie left-hander pitched five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits.

With the loss, Chen is now 7-3 with a 3.38 ERA.  

Offensively, the Nationals got on the board first in the top of the second inning when Xavier Nady singled home Michael Morse. A throwing error by third baseman Wilson Betemit allowed Washington’s first baseman Adam LaRoche to score from second base.

LaRoche tacked on another run for the Nationals in the top of the fourth inning with a solo shot over the right center field wall—his 13th of the season.

Baltimore’s lone run came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Orioles center fielder Adam Jones deposited a laser just right of the foul pole over the left field wall. Jones’ homer was his 19th of the season.

A bright spot for the Orioles, the team’s bullpen pitched four more scoreless innings in what has become one of the most reliable bullpens in baseball.

But on this night, Washington’s bullpen did not blink either, holding Baltimore scoreless in 2 2/3 innings of work.

With the win, Washington moves to 41-28. They hold a 3.5 game lead over the New York Mets in the NL East.

The Orioles fall to 40-31, and are now 2.5 games behind the AL East leading New York Yankees.

Baltimore and Washington will battle once again Sunday at 1:35 p.m.

Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.34 ERA) will square off against Jake Arrieta (3-9, 5.83 ERA) in the grudge match of this three game series.


James Morisette is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. You can see his full archive here.

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Report: Yankees and Nationals Were in Discussions Regarding a Starting Pitcher

The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals reportedly had talks earlier in the season regarding one of the Nationals’ starting pitchers, says Josh Norris of the Trentonian Blogs.

The deal would have involved infielder Eduardo Nunez, Single-A left-hander Nik Turley and an outfielder from Charleston. The outfielder would likely have been either Ben Gamel or Kelvin DeLeon, as Mason Williams and Tyler Austin appear to be untouchable at this point.

In return, the Yankees likely would have received Edwin Jackson.

Although there are no reports confirming that exchange, it makes sense logically.

The package the Yankees were offering would be nowhere near enough to acquire Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez or Jordan Zimmermann, while it would be entirely too much to give up for the likes of John Lannan, Ross Detwiler or Chien-Ming Wang.

The Nationals, a pitching-heavy team, definitely have a surplus of starters. However, the team may not want to trade one of its four best starters (Jackson) for essentially only one piece that can help the club this season.

While the Nationals struggle at times offensively, Nunez’s inconsistent bat would not be enough to warrant trading Jackson.

According to Norris, a Yankee official, on Saturday morning said that he had heard nothing of a potential deal between the two clubs, but “wouldn’t be surprised” based on the team’s perception of Jackson.

There’s no denying the fact that Jackson would greatly strengthen the Yankee rotation, and it seems as if their patience is wearing thin with Nunez.

This deal would likely help the Yankees more than it would the Nationals, but it seems as if talks have silenced since the initial discussions.

We’ll have to see how this plays itself out as the deadline gets closer.

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Edwin Jackson Tosses Gem, Nationals Roll to 4-1 Win over Reds

Technically speaking, Edwin Jackson‘s complete game gem against the Reds on Saturday was a better performance than when he threw his no-hitter with the Diamondbacks.

In his no-hitter, Jackson walked eight batters and threw 149 pitches. The “game score” for that game was an 85.

Saturday, Jackson’s “game score” was 87.

Jackson needed just 92 pitches to get through nine innings in the contest, allowing just two runs on one hit and one walk while striking out nine.

Ironically, Jackson summed up how he felt about his performance like this: “I felt all right. It’s not necessarily the best I’ve felt but it’s all mental.”

Really, Mr. Jackson?

Not the best you’ve ever felt?

Well, I’m quite curious to see what happens when you actually feel like you pitched well.

Regardless, Jackson’s performance continues a trend of great pitching for the Nationals.

After Saturday’s game, the Nationals team owns a combined ERA of 1.82. Opponents are hitting just .170 against the staff, while effectively limiting baserunners (0.95 WHIP).

The win gave the Nationals their fifth straight, putting them atop the NL East with a 7-2 record.

If the Nationals’ pitchers keep up a level of production even remotely close to their current level, Washington will be a tough team to beat in 2012.

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MLB Free Agency: Edwin Jackson Can Mean More to Chicago Cubs Than Prince Fielder

Right now, the Chicago Cubs are a wreck of a team.

Yes, they have some nice pieces in Starlin Castro and Matt Garza; but they also have a lot of veterans who simply won’t stick around long enough to help the team when the time is right for contention. Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster come off the books after this year (a combined $32 million commitment for 2012), and their starts every fifth day will need to be replaced.

As of right now, it appears the Cubs’ rotation will consist of some combination of Garza, Zambrano, Dempster, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Travis Wood (my analysis of the trade can be read here) and maybe a surprise like Jeff Samardzija, Rodrigo Lopez, Jay Jackson or Robert Whitenack. However, Zambrano and Dempster likely won’t be wearing a Cubs uniform in 2013, and Randy Wells probably shouldn’t be either. I’d even be impressed if any of them, let alone all three, are still on the Cubs roster come August 1st, 2012.

That said, it leaves the Cubs with Cashner, Garza and Wood as the starters who will be around in 2013. Of course, the Cubs won’t mind if Zambrano pitches so well his option vests, as a top-four finish in the Cy Young voting would be welcomed and probably mean the Cubs were in the playoff race until at least September. Odds are, though, that won’t happen. So the Cubs will be needing another arm.

In 2011, Doug Davis, Ramon Ortiz, Casey Coleman, Rodrigo Lopez and James Russell combined for 49 starts for the Cubs. As starters, the group went 10-29 and logged only 245 innings, an exact average of five innings per start. Over those 245 innings, that stalwart group of starters had a 5.91 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 11.46 H/9, 3.82 BB/9—all simply awful rate stats.

Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood also combined for 49 starts in 2011. Jackson and Wood threw a combined 299.2 IP, going 17-15, with a combined ERA of 4.23, a WHIP of 1.46, 10.21 H/9, 3.0 BB/9, which is better than it seems looking at the stats on face value.

Pitcher Starts W L IP H BB K R ER
Davis 9 1 7 45 2/3 59 26 36 38 33
Ortiz 2 0 2 10 14 4 9 9 8
Coleman 17 3 9 83 100 45 74 59 57
Lopez 16 6 6 88 107 24 48 52 44
Russell 5 0 5 18 1/3 32 5 10 21 19
Totals 49 10 29 245 312 104 177 179 161
Wood 18 5 6 101 117 38 69 57 57
Jackson 31 12 9 198 2/3 223 62 148 92 84
Totals 49 17 15 299 2/3 340 100 217 149 141

First of all, Jackson is pretty much a lock to throw nearly 200 innings a year, and his 198.2 innings pitched would have put him second on the 2011 Cubs, squeezed between Ryan Dempster (202.1) and Matt Garza (198). Despite seeming to have been around forever, Jackson only turned 28 this year, and has continued to show improvement. Odds are he’d improve even more so if he were to spend more than half a season with any one pitching coach.

Second, Jackson has youth on his side. As opposed to the other free agent options, Edwin Jackson is the youngest starter on the market with proved value. Sure, Hiroki Kuroda is still a quality arm, but he’s not going to get any younger. Joe Saunders is a solid mid- to back-of-the-rotation arm, but how many of those lefties do you really need—or want—on your staff?

Third, Jackson has been to two World Series: in 2008 with Tampa Bay, and this year with the eventual champion St. Louis Cardinals. Sure, he got rocked by the Brewers in the NLCS, but his other postseason pitching is solid. Nothing to write home about, but also nothing to be ashamed of.

Finally, Jackson would be a poaching from a divisional rival. Right now, the Cardinals are trying to convince themselves that Carlos Beltran will be able to replace Albert Pujols in their lineup. Sure, they’ll be getting Adam Wainwright back and won’t need Jackson, their No. 2 starter; but he’d still be a steal from the Cardinals. There seems to be something about the Central division that makes Jackson put up his best numbers (Detroit, the White Sox, and St. Louis).

Conversely, Prince Fielder is a perfect example of the law of diminishing returns. Sure, Fielder can hit great, but so can every other team’s first baseman. The Cubs can’t afford another Soriano situation, with a bad, fat contract hanging over their heads. With guys like Rebel Ridling, Dan Vogelbach and Trevor Gretzky coming through the system, the Cubs can easily afford to pass on Prince. Vogelbach in particular has drawn many comparisons to Fielder.

If the Cubs do decide to grab a free agent first baseman, they could always bring back Derrek Lee or Carlos Pena, both of whom provide quality defense, a solid bat and good clubhouse leadership. Of course, they could also look to alternatives like Casey Kotchman, or even try converting someone to first base like Johnny Damon.

While Scott Boras supposedly wants a John Danks-type deal for Jackson, he won’t muster that. But maybe three years and $35 million could be a realistic offer to get Jackson to add some more youth to Chicago’s rotation. Many thought Jackson would be signed very quickly during the free agent season, assuming he’d be overpaid as the ace that he isn’t. However, signing Jackson for a few years to bolster the top half of Chicago’s rotation could be a wise first major move by Jed Hoyer.

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