Edwin Jackson Down to Cubs and Rangers? And Other Cubs Notes and Rumors

The Cubs are one of two teams left in the mix for right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson. According to reports from Jim Bowden and Jon Heyman, the Padres are no longer interested in signing Jackson after being seen as the front-runner to land his services. Bowden reported Tuesday night that Jackson is down to the Cubs and Rangers.

According to both reports, the Padres backed out because Jackson’s price escalated and he is looking for a four-year contract. Jackson signed one of Scott Boras’ infamous pillow contracts last season with the Nationals and was paid $11 million on the one-year deal. Jackson put up decent peripheral numbers (1.22 WHIP, 168 strikeouts in 189 2/3 innings and 8.0 SO/9) but struggled with consistency again, especially on the road (4.78 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP). A contract for Jackson in line with what Ryan Dempster signed with Boston would seem to be more realistic than a four-year deal with an AAV of $12-$13 million.

Alfonso Soriano

While the Cubs do not appear to be interested in either Cody Ross or Nick Swisher, where the two free agent outfielders end up could have an impact on the market for Alfonso Soriano.

The Phillies, Rangers and Orioles have been rumored as possible destinations for Soriano this winter. While it remains to be seen if Soriano will waive his no trade rights, if one of those teams fill their needs through free agency, the chances of Soriano beginning the year in a Cubs’ uniform is near 100 percent.

Cody Ross has been connected to the Phillies while Nick Swisher has been linked to the Orioles, Rangers and Phillies, even with the Indians giving him the ‘old college try’ on Tuesday. According to Nick Cafardo, there is still a lot of interest in Cody Ross, but there has not been a team willing to sign him to a three-year contract.

The Phillies are “still trolling through the possibility of adding” a corner outfielder and reportedly had conversations with the Cubs about Soriano. One report suggested that the two teams discussed a deal that would include Domonic Brown, while another report indicated the talks focused on the Cubs receiving pitching in return for Soriano … but at least one of those pitchers was traded to Minnesota for Ben Revere.

Alfonso Soriano is coming off a good year and the Cubs have said they will not give him away. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer want value in return for Soriano … especially if the reports are correct and they are willing to send $26 of the $36 million owed to Soriano over the next two seasons. While Soriano figures to give a team much more production than Vernon Wells, the Angels appear to be looking for a place to unload Wells, and as much of his contract as possible, without receiving much in return.

Jim Duquette (MLB Network Radio) discussed possible landing spots for Soriano on Tuesday. Duquette feels an American League team could benefit by trading for Soriano and sees a fit in both Texas and Baltimore but he is not sure how much interest Texas would have in Soriano.

J.P. Howell

According to a report from Bill Ladson, the Cubs are one of several teams interested in J.P. Howell. Howell is coming off a good season with the Rays. In 55 games, Howell was a 1-0 record with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Howell struck out 42 batters and walked 22 in 50 1/3 innings. Ladson has heard the Phillies, Mariners, Nationals and Rangers are also interested and he doesn’t expect Howell to sign a deal until after Christmas

J.P. Howell’s Page on Baseball Reference

Rick Porcello

The Cubs are one of many teams rumored to be interested in Rick Porcello. According to Danny Knobler, the Tigers received almost a dozen calls within three hours of agreeing to terms with Anibal Sanchez. Knobler later reported that the Cubs tried to trade for Porcello but there is not a match between the Cubs and Tigers. The Tigers are taking calls on Drew Smyly as well but the Cubs have not been connected to Smyly, as of yet, this off-season.

As for those rumors that the Cubs could land Porcello for Darwin Barney, Bruce Levine doesn’t see that deal happening with Omar Infante firmly locked in as the Tigers’ second baseman right now.

News, Notes and Rumors

According to multiple reports, Anibal Sanchez’s deal with the Tigers included a club option for 2018. Sanchez and the Tigers made the five-year, $80 million contract official on Monday and according to a report from Jason Beck, Sanchez left money on the table from another team. Buster Olney reported that the Cubs never felt they were on the cusp of signing Sanchez.

The Angels may still have interest in Carlos Marmol according to Bruce Levine. Levine thinks Marmol could be traded before the start of the season for a small package of prospects.

Bruce Levine mentioned in his chat on Tuesday that the Cubs have “kicked the tires” on Shaun Marcum.

Former Cubs’ first baseman Carlos Pena signed with the Astros on Monday. Pena inked a one-year, $2.9 million contract that includes $1.4 million in incentives. Pena spent last season back in Tampa but still received $5 million from the Cubs as the deferred payment on the one-year contract he signed prior to the 2011 season … the Cubs paid Carlos Pena $10 million spread out over three calendar years ($2 million in 2010, $3 million in 2011 and $5 million in 2012).

The Dodgers named Pat Listach their new Minor League Infield Coordinator.

A few former Cub farmhands signed minor league contracts with new teams. Robinson Lopez, who the Cubs received in the Derrek Lee deal from the Braves in August of 2010, signed back with the Braves. The Cubs released him in February of 2012. Chad Gaudin signed with the Giants and Jacob Brigham re-signed with the Rangers after Texas non-tendered him last month.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Marcum has an 85 MPH fastball. What more should one say, other than “FORGETABOUTIT.”

    R.A. Dickey is much more inticing for me. What a steal he is/was.

  • Ripsnorter1

    That Derrek Lee trade for prospects was a complete bust. Worse than the Mark DeRosa trade.

    • J Daniel

      Rip
      I don’t believe you as Bruce Levine said the DeRosa trade was a good one for the Cubs…just kidding. Lee was done, shouldnt have traded DeRosa.

      • daverj

        I actually think Hendry sold high on DeRosa and dealt him at the perfect time. Acquiring Archer eventually led to the Garza deal too.

        I’ve never had a problem with Hendry’s trade record. It was his drafting and development that was atrocious. And while he had some quality free agent signings, the Milton Bradley deal was reason enough to let Hendry go.

        • J Daniel

          Agree with you in theory but the reality of it is they were going for it at that time. So if you are going for it you need to hang on to DeRosa because he plays multiple positions, has a cheap contract, and can spell Aram and DLee when they are hurt, which they will be. If they are not going for it then no problem trading DeRosa.

          Maybe a good trade at the wrong time.

          • calicub

            I was reading around the web last night and stumbled on an article with a pretty compelling theory. I try not to post links to other websites, and I hope this doesn’t step on any toes but it speaks volumes on what the Cubs Organization seems to be directing their energy into becoming.

            http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40716262/

            It is a little long and its use of statistics at certain points could be categorized as ‘loose’ but the is underlying premise is valid and logical. Basically, who would you rather have in a line up for the next 5 years?

            1. Anaheim’s Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.
            2. Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez.

            For those tearing the Cubs FO for “losing on the cheap,” or “waiting for 2016 and wasting time on stop gaps and DFA’s” or “not being competitive in 2013 despite being a big market team” and similar complaints, this article poses a true Ideological Question:
            Would you rather overspend on FA later in their careers or just after having several ‘unsustainable’ careers years previously just to compete now? (Think players before their last huge extension/contract such as Pujols, Hamilton, AROD, Soriano, Adrian Gonzales, Ryan Howard, heck I’ll put Grienkie on there too, but the list could go on)

            or,

            Would you rather,when your team has no real chance of success in the near future due to
            poor managment and other issues that have plagued the Cubs, pile up cheap young promising players and sift through what sticks while waiting for internal options to develop or for FA’s with true promise? (like A. Sanchez who many viewed as entering his prime, but I digress)

          • Dorasaga

            I agree with this article. Let’s see… “And players’ performances are affected by more than just their skills — they are influenced by the intrinsic advantages they have. Bill James introduced all this to many people when he predicted a precipitous drop in the numbers of superstar Fred Lynn when he was traded from Boston to Anaheim in 1981.”

            … While I’ve read more Bill James in recent years, I was astonished by the fact that many things he proved in 1981, already again and again, is proven with better technology and theory as to WHY.

            Now back to this problem… Edwin is half a good fit for the Cubs, also for this following reason: The Cubs have some good arms down their system, but not enough arms who proved to be sustainable pitchers.

            Edwin, on the other hand, is 29 years old, and he’s been pitching so long against Major League hitters and proving to be sustainable. But a stuff-oriented thrower with command problem–That’s about as good as he went. That’s about as good as he will get.

            If the Cubs sign him for a long contract (3 years +), that means barring severe injury on Edwin, there will be less chance for younger pitchers from the system to pitch. That also means the Cubs don’t see these pitchers from the farm to be sustainable. Edwin became necessary to fill this “hole.”

          • bpot92

            We also have to look at the moral and psyche of the players. If we have a terrible rotation like the end of last year, the young players on the team now become accustomed to losing, the bullpen gets overused(Russell comes to mind) and then when the new prospects are ready the players are either A) Overused and in decline/injury risk and B) Not used to competing.Im not saying this wold be a great signing but depending on years and aav it could see the improvement in player development and wins that lets people know that by 2014-2015 the Cubs are ready to compete

          • Dorasaga

            I agree. They are just more careful and tried to be smart. But there’s a limit to them “outsmart” other teams. They’ll eventually need to overspend. But maybe through a big trade, low level prospects like Baez for a “name player”? We’ll see. Like you said, a team needs to start winning to not bring down the morale or overuse their young pitchers. The rotation needs good innings eater.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I said the Cubs’ plan was “losing BIG on the cheap.” I don’t see how anyone could debate that after their 101 loss season. That is what I’d call “losing big.” But I digress…..

            There’s a third alternative for rebuilding that I propose:
            Buy some cheaper starting pitching, like Maholm last year, that can win 10+ games. If you have 5 starters that can win 10+ games, you will have a competitive team. Why drag the fans through five years of 101+ loss seasons?

            If you are waiting for Josh VItters and Brett Jackson to make the Cubs a winner, you’ll be waiting forever.
            Solar and Baez and Vogelbach look good–in Class A ball. But that’s a long way from MLB. They show lots of promise, but we shall have to wait.

            And as for the comparison of the Angels and KC Royals, I’d say I’d rather have the Angels. Remember: the KC Royals have been rebuilding since 1985. If you asked that question in 1985, 1990, or 1995, or 2000, or 2005, the answer would have been the same: take the Angels.

          • Dorasaga

            I don’t know if this is a cliche or not, but really a team cannot be any more careful or smart at rebuilding. Rather, a rebuilder needs to be MORE careful. Maybe a rebuilding team just don’t know where to spend.

            I’m seeing the Cubs not really “rebuilding.” They still spend a lot. On Soler, on blind bids, and maybe they actually talked to all those big-“Name players.” They are still careful, not really overspend like the Tigers and the Angels. It’s a matter of time that they’ll hit a jackpot.

  • BosephHeyden

    Everyone’s reporting Edwin Jackson is down to the Cubs and the Rangers…which means he will go to some random third team.

  • paulcatanese

    Edwin Jackson, another one I would hope the Cubs pass
    on. Think about it, a quick fix, multiple years, not exactly the way the Cubs seem to be going with their mindset.
    Why bring in a guy who will have to be around a few years
    until the Cubs are ready.
    As much as anyone, I would like to see the Cubs compete
    now and not later.
    But money and time being spent on what may develop down the line is unrealistic. I have not always agreed with the way Mr. Epstein has put his plan forward, but he has, and I will live with it, just as long as he dosent flip-flop and
    endanger what he preaches, long term sucess, and stick with the plan. Don’t care for it, but it is what it is.

    • Ray Ray

      Exactly right Paul. The huge offer to Sanchez was a total flip flop in what he is preaching. If he is willing to go 5 years for a #3 starter, why not do the same for QUALITY position players? You can’t tell me that if you add a “top” outfielder or “top” 2nd baseman or 3rd baseman it will damage the future.

      • Dorasaga

        You know, Fangraphs thought Anibal is as good as Greinke. So who knows? Maybe he CAN BE a quasi-ace for three to four years. This rotation is still full of questions. It’s getting solid as Travis and Shark steps up, but it’s still mediocre.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Well said…

  • Cubs4ever

    I heard Jim Bowden say today that he could see Edwin Jackson, Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse all sign with Cubs. Wouldn’t that just make them a middle of the road team? Thoughts?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

      I’d take Jackson and Bourn, zero interest in Lohse. Just like the rest of the ML teams.

      • J Daniel

        Just depends on the years, the dollars, and what other moves are going to be made. They will have to make some.

        Everyone wants it both ways. They want the team to win now and develop for the future. The only way to win now is to sign free agents as the young guys are not and may never be ready.

    • MikeT_2008

      The thing on Bourn would be the years, if for some reason he has to settle for 2-3 years then maybe, but nothing more than that, Jackson is tricky, pitching is extremely thin in the Cubs’ system. If they feel like in 2-3 years they could compete they’ll need outside help when it comes to SP.

      That said they should not sign them to something insane, and it seems the Rangers after whiffing all winter will be will to pay more to both.

      • Ripsnorter1

        If they sign Bourn, they are sending a tacit message: Brett Jackson is not going to make it in their opinion.

  • Aaron

    just signed Villanueva? Gag me…awful

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, close … not done.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, that was a short response, sorry. Let’s wait until it is done.

    • Ray Ray

      I actually think this would be a good pitcher to flip if it is a 1 year deal. He is healthy and if pitches well he has more value than Feldman, Baker is coming off TJ so he probably would be hard to move. Depending on the $…it is a good deal.

    • brent carmona

      Year one of rebuild: Justin germano’s/berkens
      Year two: bakers/villanuevas
      Year three: ??

      I like the signing, mostly bc he can spot start and he won’t complain about it. Not too surprised theo and crew went with a cheaper pitcher, he’s in line with the rebuild this upcoming season

      • Ray Ray

        Year 1 was Maholm, Volstad,Wood. Not a slam dunk year 2 will be better

        • brent carmona

          Thank you for the correction, you are right. Just wanted to point out we are going for the bargain bin these first couple of years of the rebuild, so villanueva fits that mold. Can’t knock this signing, I know we want to see some talent I.e. Edwin jax come here but we must be patient.

          • Ray Ray

            I agree. I would rather go with the Villanueva/Baker/Feldman this year than these panic signs like 5 years 80 mil for Sanchez or 5 year 60 mil for Edwin Jackson with the current starting 8.

          • brent carmona

            Yes, I mean from a fans perspective watching a guy like e jax on the mound throwing mid 90s for our team sounds real nice, but do not want to spend big money if it messes up the master plan. If we can get him for the next couple of years when we are ready to contend I don’t have a problem with that at all.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, the Cubs are close to signing Carlos Villanueva.

  • Pingback: Edwin Jackson Down to Cubs and Rangers? - Chicago Cubs Online | Chicago Ticket Hub

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Mixed reports right now on Villanueva and Edwin Jackson. Nothing is done and they appear to be communicating with both pitchers

    • Ripsnorter1

      Carlos Villanueva…he has a career 4.26 ERA. He’s a spot starter, not a every fifth day starter. Gave up 23 taters in just 125 IP last year. A little homer prone, wouldn’t you say? Let’s check those career Wrigley stats….5.09 ERA, but only 1 tater given up in 17 IP.

      Baseball Reference says the #3 pitcher he is most comparable to is

      Calvin Schiraldi. Let’s see….we gave BoSox Lee Smith, and we got Calvin and Al Nipper…..another Cubs trade where we were completely suckered and ripped off. Gave up a Hall of Famer, because we didn’t want to pay him, and got a 1 year starter in Nipper (and he was out of MLB), and Schiraldi, who went 9-13 as a starter before moving back to the bullpen, where he failed as a closer. He suffered from walkitus.

      So it sounds like he’d fit right in Wrigley.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        As a starter last year, 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP … 87 hits allowed, 86 strikeouts and 25 walks in 92 innings. More than a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 8.4 SO/9.

        • RynoTiger

          oh sure Neil…use stats to make your argument look legitimate…gosh….
          (pure comical sarcasm intended)

  • Rational Logic

    6:36pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat report that the two sides are close to a deal but it is not done yet (Twitter links).

    5:44pm: The Cubs have agreed to sign Carlos Villanueva, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are unknown. Villanueva is an SFX client.

    This is really starting to piss me off

    • Tony_Hall

      Maybe you should wait until Theo or Jed announce the signing before taking it seriously…all the rest are just spreading rumors.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Some have kicked a little bit about the Cubs signing Jackson for 3 or 4 years. But consider this: Hendry signed Dempster for 4 years, and it wasn’t all that bad of a deal for the Cubs. He was basically the same pitcher each year, as he pitched 200 per year for the Cubs. He did not win 20 games, but he once won 15, and each year he won at least 10, and 3 of the 4 years his ERA was in the 3.65 area.

    So Jackson could pitch 4 years with a similar performance level to what he has been doing all along.

    Some may not have noticed that Jackson actually improved in 2012. His WHIP…1.218, was better than his career WHIP of 1.438.

    • J Daniel

      At some point they need to sign legit starting pitching…they don’t have any in the system. He can also be flipped if needed.

  • paulcatanese

    Beautiful, Carlos Pena signed another one year contract with incentives. What’s the incentive? Bunt more, so he won’t strike out? So happy he is gone, IMO, one of the worst contracts ever the Cubs put out there for him.Besides Milton of course.

  • cc002600

    Fuky was a real beauty too.
    a colossal waste of money

    At least they were able to get rid of Milty after 1 year. (and yes, I know it was still costing them dough after that, but still)

  • gocubs

    Hugh? Fukudome was a very good player for the Cubs. Excellent RF defense, best On-Base skills we have had in a long time, great base runner. Solid player…not worth all that money, but very solid player.

  • cc002600

    You can’t be serious.
    yea, he was “solid”…. if he was an utility infielder. Please.

    call me crazy, but if my RF hits 7 HR, 50 RBI, .250 BA with zero speed, that is a TOTAL failure. Those are pathetic numbers. I don’t care what his OBP was. RF is a power position, and if you have a guy out there who can’t hit more HR’s than a utility IF, that is brutal. Not too mention, after April, his numbers would go down, down, down for the rest of the year, like clockwork, EVERY year. PLUS, he couldn’t hit a lefty if he was tossing underhand from 30 feet away. TERRIBLE.

    Have you noticed that he can’t find a job anywhere ? I would think that a “solid” player could at least find a job as a 4th OF, but what do I know ?

  • Ray Ray

    Have you looked at what kind of power numbers Mr. DeJesus puts up. He is a clone.

  • cc002600

    Did I say somehwere that I really liked DeJesus ?

    But now that you mention his name, take a look at the salaries and get back to me.

    This is all started when someone mentioned bad FA signings over last few years. I agree that DeJesus is not much better than Fuky, but he also will make about 40M less, so therefore I would not put him on the list…..Big, big difference