Report: Cubs Agree to Terms on Four-Year Contract with Edwin Jackson

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs have agreed to terms on a four-year, $52 million contract with Edwin Jackson. Patrick Mooney reported that the deals with Jackson and Carlos Villanueva will become official once both players pass physicals.

Updated 2:28pm CSTKen Rosenthal confirmed Patrick Mooney’s report that the Cubs have agreed to terms on a four-year, $52 million contract with Edwin Jackson. Jackson’s contract does not include a no-trade clause.

The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms with Carlos Villanueva on a two-year, $10 million contract on Thursday morning.

Both deals are not official and have not been announced.

The Cubs will have to clear three spots on the 40-man roster before making the deals with Edwin Jackson, Carlos Villanueva and Nate Schierholtz official. The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players.

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  • Ray Ray

    Say goodbye Matt Garza.

    • J Daniel

      Wrote earlier today that I was hoping to see this today as the club has gotten better today! How are they going to clear 3 spots?

    • J Daniel

      Probably but Garza, Shark, and Jackson would make for a very good #2-4 in the rotation.

      You would think there is another move or two coming to clear some room.

      • cubbie blue

        Do you think anyone would trade for Garza right now or will They wait until spring training to make sure he is healthy?

        • daverj

          I think they’ll wait until July to make sure he has a healthy 15 starts or so.

          • cubbie blue

            I have been thinking They will trade Garza to Texas for Olt and a top pitching prospect.

          • J Daniel

            That would be fine

          • daverj

            That would be a great move, but I still think teams want to see Garza pitch for a couple months (despite the draft pick issue).

          • gary3411

            Would have rather had Marcum, but this works. Looking for King Felix (Vogelbach) next year along with either Choo and/or Hart and we have a decent looking team.

            This team is still far, far from the Reds or Cardinals, I wouldn’t expect to compete this year either way any time past June.

            Our starting pitching is about the same as what we started out with last year. The bullpen is below average, and the offense will also be below average unless Castro and Jackson finally take huge leaps forward (doubtful). Not to mention huge holes at third and OF.

            Anyone who thinks we can compete because we have the ‘majority of the time’ 4+ ERA Edwin Jackson in our rotation is delusional. The only chance is with major injuries to the Red Teams and slick care-taking by our health standards. Then maybe, maybe there’s a chance with a lot of luck and 1-run wins.

            Damn, just think how awesome it would be if we could plug Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters in at CF and 3B going into the year and be confident about it. Then we’d be in business.

          • daverj

            Can the Cubs compete in 2013 with this team? … no chance.

            Are the Cubs looking better on paper than they did in 2012? … yup.

            Does the minor league system look better in 2013 than it did in 2012? … again, yup.

            Lots of progress made in just a year. With the mess Epstein inherited last year, no one should have expected the Cubs to compete in 2012, 2013 or even 2014.

          • gary3411

            No doubt to all your points. I was expecting to compete in 2014, but without Brett Jackson or Trey McNutt looking like they’ll have impacts, I’m doubting it unfortunately, which is why I’m not so sure about this move.

            I’d say on paper we are about the same to start the year this year as last at the moment.

          • Brp921

            Isn’t being dilusional a prerequisite for being a Cubfan? Lol.

          • Jim Canavan

            Gary: Do you really think we could get King Felix for Vogelbach?

          • gary3411

            No, but as a center piece with more added, yes.

          • John_CC

            Vogelbach, a possible future DH, the centerpiece of a trade for one of the top 10 starting pitchers in the MLB?


        • Ray Ray

          Not a chance. He will be dealt before the season. A team will not get a draft pick if they do not acquire him before the season if he ends up leaving for free agency. He has pitched his last inning as a Cub.

          • Tony_Hall

            cubbie blue said will they wait until spring training to make sure he is healthy and the answer is yes and your reply is not a chance.

            There is no way a team will give up enough until he pitches again. That will be ST. If he is traded it will be at the end of ST.

            I would extend Garza.

          • Ray Ray

            Sorry. You are right. Meant to reply to DaverJ. Agreed. He will be dealt during spring training. I would extend him as well but unfortunately I don’t think that will happen. Like I mentioned, they weighed is Jackson and prospects you acquire for Garza vs extending Garza.

          • Tony_Hall

            That makes more sense. I can see a deadline deal as possible, but any team that really wants him, and thinks he is healthy at the end of ST is going to make a push for him to get the draft pick.

          • GaryLeeT

            I don’t understand. Why would they sign Jackson if they were going to trade Garza? Why not save the money, collect prospects for Garza, and throw one of those half dozen other warm bodies the have signed so far? I say they extend Garza.

          • Tony_Hall

            I am saying they should and are going to extend Garza.

            But he will be linked to trade rumors up to the deadline.

            Are you trying to say this is not possible?

          • GaryLeeT

            A Garza trade doesn’t make sense to me right now, but it is possible. I replied to you, but mostly I was asking the others who think the Jackson signing means Garza should pack his bags.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, not sure why that would be the case. If I am looking to trade for Garza, I would want to see more than just ST before mortgaging the farm for him.

          • Brp921

            I totally agree about him being traded in spring training. I also think there is a good chance they do extend him and keep him. However at the deadline if our chances of making the playoffs are thin, and realistically they probably will be, then I wouldn’t be against trading him for the right prospects. The Cubs would be in a position to hold out for what they wanted because keeping Garza along with Jackson and Samardziga would be a good thing a couple years down the road.

        • J Daniel

          Have to wait until healthy, probably will be a deadline deal.

    • Brp921

      Garza may be traded later in the year but not now I wouldn’t think. He has to prove he is healthy first.

  • Brp921

    I have to hand it to Theo and company. I have been critical of them in the past. They have improved the team. I had convinced myself that even though they had available money they weren’t going to spend it. I thought they were going for another high draft pick. Instead they went all out to get the two pitchers I wanted. Unfortunately Sanchez had different plans and that’s not their fault. I still wish they could have gotten some more offense but it would have cost more than just money. I wouldn’t want to give up our draft choice for anything less than a world series, since the cost was losing as bad as they did last year. I think with Samardzija, Garza and Jackson being the decent pitchers they are and maybe a couple of the new guys or Wood having a good year that we can be competitive. After that who knows. Plus there is a lot of off season left to make some trades. I stated in a previous post that Theo was not my first choice to run the Cub’s but I was starting to come on board a little. Well I took another big step today.

    • Cubs4ever

      I agree with Ray. Garza will not pitch another inning for Cubs so it is pointless to say Garza Sanardzija and Jackson. He will be traded before the start of year for the reasons Ray stated below.

      • Brp921

        Maybe, but I wouldn’t think he would be traded in time to help these new guys get on the 40 man roster. That’s what I was talking about when I replied to Ray Ray. I also wouldn’ be surprised to see them both stay with the Cub’s, they’re not blocking anybody. I see the logic of another team wanting him the whole year, since he may walk, but let me ask you, would you want to give up the prospects the Cub’s would be asking if you were’t sure of his health? There are other ways of getting a deal done at the deadline with Garza, such as the trading team could agree to an extension with Garza.

        • Brp921

          Anyway I think the rest of the off season will be interesting to watch. Todays signings have put some excitement back in Cub’s baseball!

  • paulcatanese

    As I had posted before,”It is what it is”, now what?
    Cubs are closer, but still no cigar, a number of holes
    still to fill.

    • J Daniel

      Agreed, Paul. But this is a good signing. At some point you have to start acquiring players that will be here when you win and Jackson can help them win. Is he an ace? NO! But can he be a really solid guy that eats innings and helps them win? YES!

  • cubs1967

    not sure the the point of trading garza now? he-smardz-ejax could provide 3 decent under 30 pitchers; in fact, not sure why scheriholtz has not signed, but i would move on and try bourn for a 1 yr deal. add his speed with the pitching and 1 more reliever like jp howell and this team could be 85 wins………..(hmmmmmm–if only cespedes and darvish had been signed……..this is why you never quit on a team or fans like 2012 was…… never know who or what can fall in your lap).

    • gary3411

      Garza, smardz, ejax are all number 4’s on the Giants, Reds, Tigers, Rays. and 3’s on a lot of other teams. We are far.

      • daverj

        I think Jackson may have been signed with the possibility of him being the #4 starter on competitive 2015 and 2016 Cub teams. If Garza is resigned and an ace like Price is acquired over the next year or two, a 2015 rotation of Price, Garza, Shark, Jackson and a 5th guy would be good enough to compete.

        • Tony_Hall

          That is what this rotation needs to become a very good rotation, an ACE added to the top. Extend Garza, add an ACE, and use the 5th sot for Vizcaino or other young guys.

        • GaryLeeT

          Sign Jackson so he will be there for the Cubs as a #4 starter at the end of his contract? That makes no sense. #4 starters are a dime a dozen, and you could sign one in any given year.

          • gary3411

            That’s why I’m a bit puzzled. There will be another Edwin Jackson to sign in 2015. This is why I’m guessing they think they have a shot in 2014. That, or the lack of ticket interest is catching up with them and they’re trying to put butts in the seats before losing too many fans.

          • Aaron

            So….anyone care to speculate (besides me) on the players that might be dropped to add Villanueva, Schierholtz, and EJax?

            Here’s my bet in order of likelihood:
            Rosario (last in, first out, right?)
            Stewart (rumors are they already had an agreement in place to do this)
            L. Castillo
            *trade (Soriano, Marmol, Vitters, Garza)

            I would think the first three I mentioned are virtual goners off the 40-man, as they’re easily replaceable….and technically already have been replaced.

            With word that Epstein promised Feldman a rotation spot to get him to sign, I think you can say a trade is a virtual certainty.

            The rotation would be Garza, Samardzija, EJax, Feldman, and then Baker (assuming he’s ready). That means Villanueva, T. Wood, and Vizcaino are on the outside looking in. I would be shocked if Wood isn’t included in a trade. While he’s cost-controlled, I believe he’s also out of options, so a trade would have to be forthcoming for a variety of reasons. First of all, unless you’re a proven set-up man or closer, you do not pay relievers $5 million or more. I believe Feldman, Baker, and Villanueva would all fit that descritption. I could see the Cubs giving Baker extra time, and let things sort out in Spring Training, and that would leave room for 2 spots, but even so, you’re still talking about a trade (either Garza or Travis Wood).

            If you just look at contracts, it’s quite clear that Garza, Feldman, and Baker do not fit into long-term plans. They’ve said in the past Garza fits their “core” description, but with his injury, relative value, and the fact that they tried moving him for Olt and others at the deadline before his injury, should tell you that he’s likely a goner. That would leave Samardzija, EJax, T Wood, and Villanueva are the only cost-controlled or contractually controlled pitchers that factor into the rotation for next year. Baker and Feldman are trade bait at the deadline, so here’s what I think will happen,..

            Cubs make sure Garza is healthy in Spring Training, then see what teams offer. If they get a remotely decent offer, they’ll trade him, especially if Baker is healthy. If not, they’ll go with Garza, Samardzija, EJax, Villanueva, and Feldman in the rotation and use Baker’s recovery to hold him back, and buy time to trade others.

            Come the deadline in July, I think you’ll see a rotation of:
            Cabrera (or whomever decent pitcher they receive for Garza, Feldman, and Baker)

            Why do I believe that? After signing EJax, it’s obvious they’re not going to extend Garza, especially with him likely commanding what Sanchez would at 5 and $80 million. With Samardzija in line for an extension, it’s quite possible they’d have 3 pitchers at $12 million plus/year. Then, they have to take into account Villanueva at $5 million next year too. That’s a lot of money tied up in the rotation for a losing team (likely losing team), especially with their anemic offense and likely timeline of 2-3 years until they can even dream of Baez, Soler, Almora, and maybe even Vogelbach in their everyday lineup.


            That is probably the lineup for your Chicago Cubs to start the 2013 season….with that lineup, does it really matter what pitching staff you have? Soriano, Castro, Valbuena, Barney, and Schierholtz are all likely to finish 2013 at a .330 OBP clip or lower. That would make for an abysmal run production output.

            This is also why I believe Barney’s days as a Cub are also numbered. He doesn’t fit with his hack-tastic approach. Watkins fits much better, plus is lefty. Jackson would also fit…if he can make more contact, which would likely eliminate Schierholtz.

            But still, I’m sticking to my guns that a trade is afoot, and it’s only a matter of time

          • Vivid_Reality

            I think it is more likely that Villanueva was promised a rotation spot than Feldman. One thing he was looking for was a chance at 30 starts. The fact that Villanueva signed for two years leads me to believe his spot is secured. Anything is possible though. Someone told me he though Garza was going to start in the pen. All kinds of scenarios are being thrown around right now.

          • daverj

            #4 starters of Jackson’s caliber are not a dime a dozen. Also, he has the profile of a guy who could take the next step and turn into a #2 or #3 … he’s still young enough and has the stuff.

      • GaryLeeT

        As far as the A’s and O’s were at the beginning of last season? There is ways to go before opening day and It’s a bit premature to etch next season in stone.

  • Aaron

    like…gives Cubs options. Villanueva?….not so much. Isn’t that why they got Feldman?

    • J Daniel


      I know you have been advocating Jackson for awhile. What do you think of the terms?

      • Jim Canavan

        They need pitching depth especially after they trade Garza. Last September was brutal when our only chance of winning was when Travis Wood took the mound.

      • Aaron

        I like the signing overall, except for the fact that it was about $8 million more than I would’ve given. But that is the cost of doing business right now, so you have to suck it up, and just go with it.

        The reality is, most of the starting pitchers entering FA next year will not be available, as most will sign extensions.

        As I said though, I completely disagree with the Villanueva signing. I know they need depth, but with guys like Rusin, Raley, McNutt, Whitenack, Bowden (currently being stretched out), Cabrera (being stretched out), Rondon (also with starting experience), and Vizcaino (recovering from TJ and should be ready for the start of the season), they already had improved depth from last year. So, it was a curious signing to say the least.

        Here’s what I would’ve liked to have happened:

        E Jackson
        ….and one of Cabrera/McNutt/Vizcaino for the last spot.

        I still would like to see them sign Liriano, and trade Wood, but that’s highly unlikely now.

        I have to admit though, the quality of depth they’ve amassed is pretty impressive:
        E Jackson

        T Wood

        That’s 8 guys, plus the likes of Cabrera, McNutt, etc.

        You’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to complain about that depth, even if Villanueva, Feldman, Baker, and T Wood are underwhelming, because the reality is, you still have a phenomenal 1-3 punch in your rotation, and the rehabbing Vizcaino that might make it one helluva 1-4 punch

        • J Daniel

          Thanks, and agree with you. Never have enough depth with starting pitchers.

          They have to make some moves to clear space so they are not done yet.

  • SuzyS

    For the record, I like both signings…Jackson and Villanueva. Villanueva could help us as either starter/spot starter or long reliever….and it could be that he becomes all three at some point.
    EJAX should stabilize the rotation for a few years as a mid rotation guy…and buy time for the minors to begin to fill in.
    Going forward, I’ve noted that teams will sometimes utilize pitchers (with good stats) coming from the AA level upward. Towards the end of this upcoming season…we should have some pitching candidates ready to make the jump from the AA level…which in turn should limit the Germano-type signings.

    Several people are advocating Garza goes before the end of ST….I don’t see it unless the return is extremely good…something you rarely see in ST deals. (Most teams are just trying to evaluate what they do have at that time).

    If we don’t extend Garza, I really see him as a trade deadline deal to maximize value…I don’t think he can prove his health until after the season has begun…but that’s just my opinion.

    With Theo on record saying it may be necessary to trade 40% of our starting rotation at the trade deadline for the next few years…I’m going to try hard not to fall in love with any one pitcher for the next few seasons.

    It’s really interesting watching the rebuild plan reveal itself in stages. We’re a lot better off than we were a year ago….and next year should get extremely interesting.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Suzy, and I don’t see the rational of trading Garza, on the other hand the Cubs are desparately in need of offensive power to make this work.
      It could however be a surprise if one or two more
      are added.
      Just hope as I have said before, that Epstein sticks to his plan and dosent go overboard as a lot of us hope he does and makes a run in 2013, as my wishes don’t really matter.

  • ldsteam2012

    The one team I see trading for Garza is Texas, for a package that includes Mike Olt. Just wanted to throw that out there. Texas missed out on Grienke, and they missed out on R.A. Dickey. Not straight up of course, Olt and maybe a few pitching prospects for Garza?? Thoughts?

  • ChiCubs

    Player A 4.03 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 47.3% ground ball rate in 189 2/3 regular season innings

    Player B 3.86 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 195 2/3 regular season innings

    These stat lines look very similar do they not? Whats the difference? Player B is getting paid 25 million dollars more than player A.

    • bpot92

      is player b sanchez?

      • Dorasaga

        Yea, I thnk ChiC. wants to compare Edwin to Anibal. Hoyer & Co. outsmarted Dombroski here.

        • bpot92

          I personally think that either one would have been a slight overpay but with the potential for a good deal. I gladly would have taken either though since it gives us 6-7 pitchers that can,, give us a chance to win on a consistent basis.

          • Tom U

            It appears as if Christian Villanueva is “done” for the winter. Yaquis de Obregon in the LMP has placed him on the Reserve list.

  • Dorasaga

    Guys, before we make judgement, look at ChiCubs’s numbers above.

    Anibal was signed 5 years. Edwin, four. The latter is almost half a year older than Anibal. After considered all factors (aging, market, simple summary stats), I think Hoyer & Co. outsmarted Dombroski here.

  • gary3411

    This offseason would be so much more clear and sweeter and easier to digest if we could have traded Garza before he fricken got hurt last July. Some of those return prospects possibly could have been near-ready.

    Man, just another unlucky stinker for us Cubs fans. Garza’s value went from 2 stud prospects prospects and another with upside to probably 1 top 75er today and maybe a Burgess and Hendricks.

  • texcubnut

    You drop Lendy Castillo, Gerardo Concepcion and Sandy Rosario to make room on the 40 man roster for the 3 new additions. ( Jackson, Villanueva and Schierholz.)

  • Tom U

    While many speculate that the deals of the past two days will effect on the future of Matt Garza, it could also be a hedge concerning Jeff Samardzija.

    If the team and Samardzija can’t come to an agreement prior to his arbitration, the team could just accept the arbitrator’s decision for 2013, then make a Qualifying Offer following the season. If Samardzija accepts, he’ll be on a one year contract. If he declines, the team will receive a supplemental draft pick.

    Either way, with Villanueva signed for two years and Jackson for four, the team is well covered in either event.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Doesn’t shark have 3 years of control left, including this year? He is only first time arb eligible right now.

  • triple

    I like this signing of Edwin Jackson. At first, I wasn’t really thrilled with the choices of EJ or Anibal Sanchez, and would’ve preferred the risk involved with Marcum. But after digging and doing a little stats geek math (not really much of one so I’m using the basics), I think Jackson for 4/$52 is way better than Sanchez for 5/$77.5, and here’s why:

    I added up their career stats against the other teams that will be in the NL central next year (Reds, Brewers, Pirates, and STL).

    Sanchez: 21 starts, 7-8, ERA 3.73, WHIP 1.34
    Jackson: 22 starts (and 1 relief appearance), 9-5, ERA 3.38, WHIP 1.28

    It certainly looks like Jackson can serve the Cubs well in the NL central, especially with the unbalanced schedule.