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 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.”
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).
“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 annual ‘Woody’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.
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.