CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney has the latest:
#Cubs have signed Edwin Jackson (four years, $52 million) and Carlos Villanueva, pending physicals.— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) December 20, 2012
Jackson is ideally a third starter at best. His career record is 70-71, with an ERA of 4.40, but he has shown some flashes of brilliance in his 10-year career.
Jackson made the All-Star team in 2009 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. He was 13-9 that season with an ERA of 3.62. In 2010, he no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays—one of his former teams—while with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In all, the Cubs are Jackson's eighth major league team.
If you're looking for the reason Jackson has been such a journeyman, you have to recognize his strengths and weaknesses. If a pitcher hangs around for 10 years and pitches in the majors for eight different clubs, there has to be some contrasting qualities.
Jackson's best attribute is his live arm. He can still run the fastball up to the plate in the mid-90s, per Fangraphs.
His issue, though, is being wild in the strike zone at times. He has dramatically decreased his walk total from the beginning of his career, but batters are hitting a solid .271 against him in his career.
Still, as a middle-of-the-rotation guy, Chicago could do much worse than Jackson. Who knows, he may even produce one of those magical seasons that could help spur the Cubs into a pennant race.
Overall, this is a good signing.
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