Jackson Signed, Sealed and Delivered … and Other Cubs News and Notes

Jed Hoyer introduced Edwin Jackson as the newest Cub on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field … and there are still more roster moves are on the horizon. The Cubs have one more contract pending and at least one more spot to clear on the 40-man roster.

As it turns out, Jed Hoyer and Dale Sveum met with Edwin Jackson in California while Theo Epstein and Tom Ricketts met with Anibal Sanchez in Miami. According to multiple reports, the Cubs would have signed only one of the two free agent starters, not both. Jackson and Sanchez fit what the Cubs were looking for this off-season … young starting pitchers they could sign to a multi-year contract to help build a rotation for both the short and long-term.

Edwin Jackson’s four-year, $52 million contract does not include a no-trade clause … and multiple reports confirmed that Jackson received a $8 million signing bonus and will receive $11 million annually over the four-year deal.

Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson is having a big week. Not only was he introduced as the newest member of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday but he is getting married on Saturday.

Jackson likes the Cubs’ potential on paper but admitted the team is a couple of pieces away.

Jed Hoyer addressed why the Cubs think that Jackson has gone from team to team. Hoyer seemed to point to Jackson’s former agent, Scott Boras, as the reason. Jackson did not comment about his former agent but Jed Hoyer said, “I think a lot of his recent stops were due to the fact you couldn’t sign him to an extension and teams were willing to take what they could in trade rather than lose him for nothing.

 

Pitching Depth

With Edwin Jackson in the fold and Carlos Villanueva’s deal expected to be announced in the near future, the Cubs feel they will have a deeper starting rotation in the upcoming season than a year ago. If Matt Garza is ready to go, as he has guaranteed, on Opening Day, the rotation figures to be Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Travis Wood. Scott Baker could start the season on the shelf as he recovers from Tommy John surgery last April.

Along with the six pitchers (Garza, Samardzija, Jackson, Feldman, Wood and Baker), Carlos Villanueva will give them another option in the rotation and Arodys Vizcaino is expected to see some time at the big league level during the 2013 season (Dale Sveum mentioned at the end of last season that Vizcaino will be on innings limit in 2013 of around 100 innings).

Jed Hoyer from ESPN Chicago:

“I think you’re never happy with your depth, but we certainly worked really hard to build it up. That was a big factor for us. We felt like we were running out there in September once we traded a couple of guys, once we shut Samardzija down, it wasn’t the quality we were looking for. We needed to really address our depth. We’ve worked hard. We’ll find out over the course of six months whether we were right or wrong about it. That was sort of our goal this winter to add as much depth and quality as we could.”

Nate Schierholtz and the Outfield

Jed Hoyer addressed the Cubs’ outfield with the media following Edwin Jackson’s press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs GM said that they are projecting Nate Schierholtz to be a regular in right field … for now.

Hoyer said the plans are for Schierholtz to play “a ton for us” and they feel he can “thrive” with more playing time. Hoyer pointed out they think Schierholtz has been “undervalued” by his previous teams.

The Cubs are reportedly looking to add another outfielder to the mix. As of January 3, the Cubs outfield against right-handed starters would be Alfonso Soriano (LF), David DeJesus (CF) and Nate Schierholtz (RF). Dave Sappelt figures to be the Cubs’ fourth outfielder on Opening Day with the way the roster is currently constructed.

News and Notes

Jed Hoyer said Matt Garza is doing good so far this off-season and the team has received positive reports from the right-hander as he recovers from the stress reaction in his right elbow. Hoyer pointed out the best way to know how Garza is doing is to follow him on Twitter.

Kerry Wood’s second annualWoody’s Winter Warm-Up’ is scheduled for Friday, January 18 at Harry Caray’s Navy Pier Tavern.

Multiple reports on Wednesday indicated there is lots of interest in Giancarlo Stanton throughout the league … and multiple reports indicated there is zero chance that the Marlins trade Stanton this off-season.

Jed Hoyer on signing free agents … “If you look at free agent markets in general, you can’t really snap your fingers and say OK now we’re ready to spend money. You have to look at it as a gradual process each off-season.

Mr. January’s clients are having a hard time this off-season … and MLB’s new rules on free agency and the new draft format could be impacting where the players Scott Boras represents signs this winter. From Yahoo Sports, “The new draft format included fixed bonus pools for teams based on the previous year’s record; the worst teams would get the most money. A separate rule transformed compensation for free agents who left. Teams would have to offer a player a one-year deal worth the average of the highest-paid 125 players in the major leagues the previous season – about $13.3 million this year. If another team chose to sign one of those players, it would forfeit its first-round draft choice and the bonus-pool money that came with it – unless it was a top 10 pick, in which case it would lose its second-rounder and the accompanying bonus value.

Several of the minor league players in the Cubs’ system tweeted Wednesday that they were leaving for Arizona and they are looking forward to getting ready for the season. Those players included: Greg Rohan, Anthony Giansanti, Dustin Geiger, Shawon Dunston Jr., Taiwan Easterling and Garrett Schlecht.

Polls

The ever-popular reader polls are back at the CCO … and the first one centers on the Cubs best move of the off-season to date. The CCO will run this poll for a couple more days so make sure you cast your vote before the poll closes.

What has been the Cubs best move of the off-season so far?

  • Signing Edwin Jackson (47%, 285 Votes)
  • Hiring Derek Johnson as Minor League Pitching Coordinator (16%, 94 Votes)
  • Signing Scott Baker (10%, 63 Votes)
  • Signing Kyuji Fujikawa (10%, 58 Votes)
  • None of the Above (8%, 46 Votes)
  • Agreeing to terms with Carlos Villanueva (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Signing Nate Schierholtz (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Re-Signing Shawn Camp (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Signing Dioner Navarro (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Signing Scott Feldman (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Minor league signings (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Hiring James Rowson as Hitting Coach (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Hiring David Bell as Third Base Coach (2%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 601

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  • Ripsnorter1

    I think the Cubs should go after Stanton. That type of power is rare. We need it. Just pay for it and go on.

    • Tony_Hall

      If I am the Marlins I ask for Baez, Soler, Almora, P Johnson, and D Underwood and if I am the Marlins I see what other desperate teams are offering before making you add another player or two, after I add a couple of low level prospects, to make it look like you got something else in return…..most likely named Vogelbach and Amaya.

      • Dorasaga

        Do you think a Stanton+closer-material LHP will work if offered Soriano+Baez+money? LH-SP would be too much; I dared not ask.

        • Aaron

          there’s no chance that including Soriano in the deal would land them Stanton.

          About a week ago or so we had a discussion on here about Stanton, and basically, it was agreed that the Cubs would need to send Baez, Soler, and Almora as Tony mentioned above, and it simply wouldn’t be worth it to the Cubs to do that….nor would it be worth it to the Marlins to accept a deal that didn’t include them.

          I know it’s not apples-to-apples, but just look what the Jays gave up for Dickey…Syndergaard AND D’Arnaud….I can only imagine what the Marlins would demand for a guy that’s 16 years younger than Dickey in Stanton…plus, a bonafide power threat.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rich.hood.144 Rich Hood

            I think if the FO looked at as need verses want. Do we need this player to the point of gutting our minors to get him? The answer would probably be not right now. Not saying that they haven’t talked (you have to do your diligence on EVERY POSSIBLE TRADE) but the cost for us right now would set us back in 2014, 2015 and beyond. IF we were closer to being competitive then the conversation switches but right now the cost for a Stanton (or a Upton) is just too high.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rich.hood.144 Rich Hood

            Sorry Aaron I meant to put this up farther but clicked after your name. I do agree with you on the cost.

          • Dorasaga

            So the Cubs traded Baez, then? Here’s what I believe:

            http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/lasting-impressions-reviewing-the-beckett-hanley-trade/

            “From a strictly numerical standpoint, the Marlins won the WAR*, but no one has ever put a numerical value on winning a World Series, expect maybe the team owners who made a ton of money off the impending Red Sox dynasty that came with winning their second title in four years.”

            *WAR only counts regular season record. A postseason win from Beckett or a World Series MVP hit from Lowell can be ten-times the contribution than a March-July win or hit–what the Marlins were good at the past decade.

            I think even WAR isn’t over-favoring the Marlins, edging by a 46 to 37. The book is not closed with the trade of Hanley and Beckett to LA. Those prospects waited to be seen.

          • Dorasaga

            Yes, very well analyzed, and you are true to what the market demands. I replied Dave below, and I will add that Baez might be an overrated prospect like Hanley was; we don’t know. It also seems like an ace is more expensive than ever before, at least for the 2010-s; that we know. I was exploring the possibility that the Marlins is turning “economical” again, more than willing to swap a corner talent as Stanton for another outfielder, even one within a Cubbie bunch of well-rated prospects.

        • Tony_Hall

          No chance.

        • daverj

          Way too much for the Cubs to ask. Although some on this site think it would take more (and they may be right), I would think the Marlins would at least listen to an offer of Baez, Almora, Vogelbach, Vizcaino, and the Marlins’ pick of a non-pitching prospect (other than Soler) for Stanton. If I’m the Cubs, I make that offer if I can lock Stanton in long term.

          • Dorasaga

            I thought over then must agree with Aaron above (and somewhat with Tony cut short due to his former lengthy conversation here). I have a different view of including more than Baez, though. Let’s think about the 2003 trade b/w Boston and Miami. Worked out well for Boston due to its magical run to the Champ. Didn’t work out for the Marlins with all the prospects turned out “solid,” but not great. I hardly consider Hanley a “great” Major League. He might be a “high ceiling prospect,” with more tools than any GM ever dreamed of. He never turned out great–or worse–had attitude problem and defensive holes.

            I’m not saying Beckett and Lowell were the greatest thing ever, but that combo kept Boston durable and competitive from start to finish (until both turned old and Epstein signed some terrible long term with the 3rd baseman).

            My theory is if Stanton is proven (and now), a Baez plus two won’t be too much. It’s not the Marlins really care about long term competitiveness. Their management kept drafting well but really, stopped caring about postseasons long time ago. Any offer might be a good offer to them if it’s both economical and plenty. The Cubs might even keep their aces and Soler.

    • Shawon O’Meter

      We really aren’t in that position yet. All the pain the Cubs have gone through to rebuild the farm system would be for naught, we’d go right back to having no impact talent in the minors with Stanton and our current team to show for it. This current team plus Stanton isn’t good enough, consistently over the long haul to be worth that. “Just paying” for Stanton would be a horrible idea.

      • SuzyS

        Shawon O’Meter, I agree with you.
        In addition, It seems to me that the Marlins would maximize his value and keep whatever fan base they have left by waiting for the July 31st trade deadline…IF they WERE going to trade Stanton as opposed to extending him.

        The Marlins do have to give their fans a bone somewhere…or just fold up shop.

  • Tom U

    Iowa Cubs reliever Esmailin Caridad gets the W as Obregon wins 3-2 over Guasave in LMP Playoffs.

    • Dorasaga

      He’s having a comeback. Life sure is full of surprises.

  • Dorasaga

    I can’t be sure without watching the whole expression of our dear GM, but seems that Hoyer didn’t work out with Boras & Clients in the past (whether Friars or BoSox). Nobody in the “circle” really like Boras, perhaps other than Nats owner and the Tigers GM, so I’m not surprised that comment slipped. Imagine what would the Braves management say about Boras if they signed Ejackson, haha.