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Cubs “now the front runner” for free agent Edwin Jackson

Dec 19, 2012, 11:23 PM EST

edwin jackson view getty Getty Images

That whole Anibal Sanchez thing didn’t quite work out, so the Northsiders are trying a different route.

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and Sirius XM, the Cubs are “now the front runner” for free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson, who is also being courted currently by the Rangers. Bowden says the “ballpark” asking price is four years, $52 million.

Jackson, 29, registered a pretty solid 4.03 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 31 starts this past season for the Nationals, fanning 168 batters in 189 2/3 innings.

In 2011, he had a 3.79 ERA in 199 2/3 frames between the White Sox and Cardinals.

If the Cubs land E-Jax, newly-signed right-hander Carlos Villanueva will presumably be pushed to the bullpen. That would leave a rotation of Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Jackson, Travis Wood and Scott Feldman. And then Scott Baker is expected to be recovered from elbow surgery by May.

  1. mazblast - Dec 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I don’t understand why Villanueva would be the one pushed to the bullpen. He’s far better than Wood or Feldman.

    Getting back to the subject–If the Cubs sign Jackson, good for them. He’s good but not great, and he’s by no means old in baseball terms.

    • paperlions - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Maybe because he is a far better reliever than he is a starter:

      Villanueva as starter: ERA 4.80, K/9 6.49 xFIP 4.84

      Villanueva as reliever: ERA 3.76, K/9 9.04, xFIP 3.84

  2. yankeepunk3000 - Dec 19, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    WOW 52 MILLION??? this guy is a number 4 at best I misread it and saw 4 for 32 and said well that sounds about right but 52??? that’s just throwing away money…I should know I’m a Yankee fan

  3. Old Gator - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Edwin Jackson would make the Cubs the favorites to finish fourth in the NL Central. That’s exciting stuff.

  4. shawnuel - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Man…..Could the Cubs possibly leave some pitchers for other teams? This would be the 4th signing this off-season

  5. spetznaz777 - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    i just dont see the appeal. he gets alot of strikeouts but awfully inconsistant and cant find his slider most of the time. cubs fans expect alot of frustration when jackson plays. i see him getting 8 wins

  6. angrycorgi - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    FA deals this offseason have been nonsensical.

  7. thegreatstoneface - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    i’m not sure just what he can do to actually make the Cubs a contender. he’s a solid, journeyman starter…maybe a little more than just that. the money sounds okay, considering the market…

  8. fanofevilempire - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    I guess Theo was right, the BIG free agents do want to play for the Cubs.

    oh boy!

  9. jpat2424 - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Why the hell would you sign this guy and give him 4yr 52 mil. Another stupid cubs move.

  10. tcostant - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Seems like Rizzo blew it as he should have tentered him that $13.3M contract an extracted a draft choice when he signed elsewhere. Opportunity loss…

    • paperlions - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Yep, zero chance he would have accepted.

  11. chacochicken - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    For practical baseball purposes I’m not sure Edwin Jackson is 50 million dollars more valuable a pitcher than John Lannan. I guess you have to hope for a bit more improvement but he hardly seems like a new cornerstone of the rotation.

  12. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    FA prices seem a bit high this offseason, no?

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