Fresh off a four-year, $52 million dollar deal, Edwin Jackson seemed comfortable in his Chicago Cubs‘ debut.The right-handed pitcher was added to the southside for a few different reasons this spring. Jackson will join Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza among the front of the Cubs’ rotation and also provide long-term insurance in the event Garza is dealt as part of Theo Epstein’s master plan to rebuild the Cubs.
At 29 years old, Jackson has high hopes this season, though considered Tuesday’s spring performance as just “an evaluation day”.
The four year deal should provide some personal stability as well. Jackson has already played for the: Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals and most recently, the Washington Nationals. With a no-hitter while with Arizona and a World Series ring in St. Louis, the Cubs will be looking for Jackson to lead by example on and off the field.
So far, it’s working out well for Cubs’ Manager, Dale Sveum. “He’s been great. He’s got that personality and work ethic and professionalism. And teammates like him already,” Sveum said.
On the field, Jackson settled down to retire his final four batters after allowing back to back singles in the first inning. The Cubs won the game overall, 4-2, over the Colorado Rockies, but it was scoreless when Jackson walked off the field.
The new acquisition was signed this offseason after a 10-11 season, 4.03 ERA season for the NL East winning Nationals, also owners of the NL’s best record last season with 98 wins. Not all was well for Jackson and the Nationals last year, however, when Washington blew a 2-0 series lead to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, and Jackson surrendered five runs in six innings, taking a loss in his only postseason start.
For now, the righty is here to offer growing stability to the Cubs’ rotation, and today was the first step in the right direction.