This morning on Hot Stove on MLB Network, Ken Rosenthal was asked about the Rangers’ plans going forward, and he chose to mention Edwin Jackson, saying, “I do not expect them to be the high bidder there.”

Now, let me emphasize a few of caveats before you connect the dots:

(1.) Ken was talking about moves he doesn’t expect the Rangers to make, and wasn’t really speaking at length about Jackson.

(2.) Ken made no mention whatsoever of the Cubs or any other team pursuing Jackson.

(3.) Just because the Rangers aren’t the high bidder for Jackson – if that even proves to be the case – doesn’t mean they won’t get him.

Now, the dot connecting: if you believe Jim Bowden’s report that Edwin Jackson’s primary suitors are down to the Rangers and the Cubs, and if you believe there is no mystery team coming out of nowhere for him, and if you believe Jackson is going to sign with the highest bidder, then you could conclude that the Cubs are the favorite at this point.

I think we shouldn’t take Rosenthal’s utterance for more than this: in his gut, Rosenthal is not yet convinced that the Rangers are going hard after Jackson.

  • JoeyCollins

    It would be nice if the Rangers dont go hard after Jackson at all. Maybe the cubs can land him and not have to go up over that 50mil mark.

  • EQ76

    I guess the Dodgers are involved then.. must want a 10 man rotation

  • Cub Fan Dan

    I hope its because the Rangers just don’t want to pay that much & not because the Cubs are offering a boatload of cash.

  • Frank

    As I said yesterday, after missing out on Josh Hamilton, the Rangers have a ton of money. Unlike some teams, they seem to think that winning in 2013 is just as good as winning in 2015-2017, and the fact that they have a stacked farm system doest hurt. This being said, if the Rangers want Jackson, they’ll have him. Unless of course we decide to go the Hendry route and outbid both them and ourselves, and like Sanchez, Jackson’s a great pitcher but no worth paying like an ace. If we can get him for something like 4/65, or even 5/75, and the Rangers bow out, I’ll happily take him, but if he ends up costing much more, I’d just as soon move on. On the other hand, if the Rangers want they can use that stacked farm system to trade for something better.

    Another thing: the rotation of Garza/Shark/Jackson/Baker/Feldman could be a very good one, but I’m not so sure that’s what we’d end up with. With all the money that we we’re willing to pay Sanchez and now Jackson, could we actually be looking for someone to replace Garza at the head of the rotation? Why aren’t we focusing on extending Garza instead? It could be that they’ve come to terms with the fact that they won’t be able to extend him, and once they acquire a quality veteran front end guy, they’ll focus on trading Garza.

    • JB88

      I think 4/65 would be an example of the Cubs bidding against themselves.

      I also think that the new CBA has changed the game. It has driven up the price of FAs because clubs can’t aggressively buy talent in the draft and it makes more sense to lock up young talent earlier. As a buy product of this, you still live in a world where prospects are grossly overvalued AND now FAs are grossly overpaid. Gone are the years where decent, but not great pitchers sign for $5M to $7M deals. Now, those decent pitchers are receiving 10-14M dollar deals. Just the new reality of the 2011 CBA agreement.

      • ruby2626

        It’s not only the new CBA that is potentially raising contracts it’s also the influx of new TV revenue that is probably way higher than anyone imagined. Look at the 3 teams that have received huge contracts, Dodgers, Angels and Rangers. I googled an old article because I was curious about the Angels, how does $150M per year for TV revenue grab you and the Dodgers are even more. Makes our $50M seem tiny, hope we can get out of that CSN contract before 2019.

    • hansman1982

      “Why aren’t we focusing on extending Garza instead?”

      This goes hand-in-hand with why a Garza trade won’t happen right now.

      Since he isn’t healthy the Cubs won’t want to sign Garza to an amount of money and years that Garza would feel that he is worth and I would be kind of pissed if they offered Garza the money he is worth right now. That’s just spending money to spend it to appease some fans and not making a smart baseball decision.

      • CubFan Paul

        “I would be kind of pissed if they offered Garza the money he is worth right now”

        What if they “bought low” on Garza? Like 4-6years at $12M-$15M AAV?

        5yr/$70M would be ideal and fair value for an arbitration extension with one year remaining.

        • kranzman54

          Yeah, but if he continues to get hurt, this FO will never hear the end of the stupid extension they gave Garza. For a $70 million commitment I would prefer a little more of a sure thing than Garza.

        • hansman1982

          I still wouldn’t like it unless we were talking 4 years $40M – even then…

          Too much risk coming back from an elbow injury.

          • JR

            That’s the thing with Garza. What does his elbow stress fracture really mean? I can’t find anything about it. I heard he’s suppose to be recovered, but I want to know if it can lead to TJS or other injuries. He is just so risky right now. How much would it suck to be another team and trade a couple studs for Garza and he ends up having TJS in May or something? I am still real skeptical on his value no matter how bad the pitching market is.

            • Cubbie Blues

              It’s a bone injury and not tendon related.

              • hansman1982

                ya, basically it is the step before a stress fracture.

                I’m just nervous what this does to his pitching mechanics and if working to avoid a recurrence of that they put extra strain on his UCL leading to a TJ.

    • Frank

      Just a couple of points–at the risk of re-opening the debate about “the plan,” Texas believes winning in 2013 is just as good as 2015-17 because they’ve been in position to do so since at least 2011. I agree that we shouldn’t overpay for Jackson, and I’m not so sure the FO isn’t focused on extending Garza–we’ve only heard speculation as to this point, and not much from them. He would have to prove healthy first though, before any decisions can be made.

      A Different Frank

    • Tim

      I don’t think the cubs would even talk with him about an extension until they see him pitch in spring training. Same about trading him, nobody will give up what the cubs want until he proves he is healthy

    • Kevin B

      Frank I like Jackson but 5/75 or 4/65 – then I no longer like him. Jackson will go for (my guess) if a 4 years deal $50-52 million. If 5 years $60 million. There would be some flexibility to go a bit over these but anything more then that and I would let him go somewhere else.

      I agree the rotation may look good. I disagree that we are looking to “replace” Garza at the head of the rotation per se. The point is to sign GOOD players and GOOD pitchers. Sanchez was that. You win by having GOOD pitchers and severa of them. Nothing wrong with having Garza and Sanchez. Look at the Tigers staff, did they resign Sanchez looking to replace any of their top 3 pitchers? Hell no. Giants won the WS with pitching and a few years ago Cain, Lincecum, Baumgartner looked pretty good.

      I agree with you that we should extend Garza but it takes two. Allegedly he wants a no trade clause, like the Cubs gave away like hot cakes before. I oppose those clauses generally and do not think Garza is worth an exemption.

      They are not waiting to obtain anyone to then focus on a Garza trade. Garza had NO market now. No trade value until he pitchers and shows he is healthy. The only deal you could make for Garza now is a bad one.

      • http://facebook legen wait for it dary

        give garza a partial no trade clause of like 5 teams let him pick the 5 teams he might do that

  • college_of_coaches

    There are more ifs in this article than a Rudyard Kipling poem.

    • Brett

      Indeed. That was the point – don’t want folks taking too much from this.

      • college_of_coaches

        It’s a point well taken. Do you recall anything from last year about Jackson not wanting to sign with the Cubs? I seem to remember this, but I think it was couched in a narrative of him wanting to sign with a competitive team. (Then again, my memory could be playing tricks on me again.)

        • Brett

          Nothing jumps out in my memory, but it’s certainly possible.

    • Frank

      The entire 2013 season revolves around ifs:

      If Samardzjia can repeat 2012
      If Baker and Feldman pay off
      If we keep Soriano
      If Soriano repeats on 2012
      If Castro improves
      If Stewarts healed wrist finally makes him a star, or at least league average 3B
      If the Schierholtz/Sappelt platoon works out
      if the bullpen performs well

      Every season for every team has ifs, but the Cubs have more than usual, and that’s how they’re built.

      • JBarnes

        They were built that way on purpose. I’m not sure if you’re trying to state the obvious or if you’re complaining but it wasn’t an accident. The Cubs went out and got cheap, low-risk guys hoping they’ll rebound so we can trade some at the deadline. Obviously that doesn’t apply for all the guys you mentioned but the FA’s it does.

        As far as Samardzija/Castro, they are still inexperienced in the sense that it will only be Castro’s 3rd full season and Samardzija’s 2nd as a starter so it’s not unlikely that they’ll keep improving.

        • Kyle

          Doing it intentionally doesn’t make it better or worse.

          • Cubbie Blues

            But, if you are a proponent of the Multiverse Theory, the Cubs won the 2012 World Series with that lineup.

  • jbb

    Keep in mind Garza is career is 47 wins 51 losses. He is a hyped up asset. Jackson is marginally better with history for someone who you can depend on.

    • hansman1982

      wins and losses are a *nearly* useless way to evaluate a pitcher in today’s game. 130 years ago, when it was as rare to NOT throw a complete game as it is to throw a complete game today, it was useful.

      Also, Garza is 57 and 61.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        That always makes no sense to me. Then what is the point of getting really good starters, because it makes no difference as to wins or losses based on that theory. Just get a bunch of Casey Colemans and the greatest bullpen in baseball history, you will win it all.
        Gio Gonzalez, David Price, Jared Weaver, RA Dickey, Johnny Cueto. Those were the MLB leaders in wins last year. They seem like pretty good pitchers to me.

        • Norm

          Clayton Kershaw only had 14 wins. Cliff Lee only 6.
          Were they good?

          • cubfanincardinalland

            Very good, and that is over one season, when you can certainly have variance. But over a 100 game won-loss career, the better pitchers are going to have the better records. Of course you do have to take the team they have been playing for in consideration, somewhat.

            • bbmoney

              A larger sample size will regress to the mean and as such a larger size of record is slightly more meaningful than a single season.

              But it’s all about the team. Garza would have a significantly better record if he pitched for the yankees (during his rays years) and…… I don’t want to say this but I have to…..Cardinals (during his cubs years) because those teams would actually have scored runs for him. Which by my reconning is 50% of winning a game. He’s pitched for some pretty bad offensive clubs in his day i think 2009 was the only year the team he was on finished better than 7th in their league in runs scored.

            • Cedlandrum

              The last three years Felix Hernandez is only 39-35. Is he only a 4 game over .500 pitcher? In fact his 162 game average is only 14-11. He is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, he just plays for a crappy team.

              • cubfanincardinalland

                We could argue this all day, but to me Felix is a great example that shows you that wins and losses can certainly show you what kind of pitcher a starter is. Playing on one of the worst teams in baseball over the last 3 years(80 games under .500), he still has a winning record. It is not a meaningless stat to me.

                • Norm

                  But you said:

                  “But over a 100 game won-loss career, the better pitchers are going to have the better records.”

                  Felix shows you that’s not the case.

                  • hansman1982

                    It will, just you need to know how much better than his team’s record he is and then factor in how good the bullpens were behind him and his division and…

                    Again, ALMOST useless.

                • hansman1982

                  It is useful if you want a quick glance to see if a pitcher is good or not, if you know about the team he has been on. Clearly, Greg Maddux wouldn’t have been likely to have a losing record, unless he were on the 2013 Marlins…

                  It is just that there are so many more useful (and nearly as easily obtained) stats out there.

         – brush up on xFIP – this will tell you more about a pitcher quicker and easier than W/L

            • Norm

              Yovani Gallardo 60-38 since 2009
              Cliff Lee 49-39 since 2009

              Who has been better since 2009?

            • Kyle

              If we’re going this route, can we at least use “team record when this pitcher starts” and not the absurd charade that masquerades as W-L record for pitchers?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          They seem like pretty good pitchers to me.

          There is a big difference between the statement that the pitchers who get the most wins probably are good pitchers and the statement that good pitchers probably get a lot of wins. That’s the issue here.

        • DarthHater

          Then what is the point of getting really good starters, because it makes no difference as to wins or losses based on that theory.

          The argument is not about starters versus relievers, it is about whether W-L is a good indicator of the quality of any pitcher, whether starter or reliever. The point of getting really good starters is because it is important to have really good starters. But if you rely heavily on W-L to identify the starters you will pursue, then you are doing yourself a disservice because there are many other stats that are better indicators of how good a starter is likely to be. None of this in any way suggests that it would make sense to sign a bunch of Casey Colemans and a great bullpen.

        • Kevin B

          Cubfan not sure you understood his answer. He did not say wins and losses do not matter he said a starting pitchers win loss record is not a primary indicator of how good he pitches and he is 100% correct.

          Your statement to just sign a bunch of Casey Colemans makes no sense, he was not suggesting that. Sure those pitchers would have losing records but all their other metricts would indicate they stink as well because they stink.

          If you pitch for a team that loses 100 games, or one that wins 90+ that Pitchers win loss record looks better because of the better team. David Price for example won 20. You think he would have won 20 on last years Cubs team because he is David Price and good? Hell no.

  • calicubsfan007

    I am not believing any sort of signings until I see the guy wearing the Cubs jersey at a Cubs team press conference and they say that his name here has signed with the Cubs and he has shaken both Theo and Jed’s hands. I will not trust the media whatsoever in terms of Cubs activity.

    • kranzman54

      Yeah, I say that too, but you got to admit you get a little excited on the indside.

      • calicubsfan007

        @kranzman: Fair enough. You got me there. (=

  • Segal27

    Why are we okay with moving Travis Wood to the bullpen? I liked what i saw for the most part last year.

  • Curt

    just remember the dodgers want all the players.

  • jbb

    Good catch on Garza. Missed his 10-10 record in 2011. FO is not tied to him and that is why he is not part of the rebuild.

    • Cubbie Blues

      He is absolutely part of the rebuild. A huge part. If we sign him we will have a good #2 pitcher for the next 4-5 years. If we don’t we will be getting back some really good prospects in trade.

      • Kevin B

        Well said Cubbie Blue!

    • cubchymyst

      I think it is also partly because the FO wants to avoid having players with the right to reject trades which can be gained either by being given a NTC (something they will not do) or gaining 10-5 rights. I don’t have the best understanding of when a players clocks starts for arbitration and 10-5 rights but Garza started pitching in majors in 2006 which puts him 3 years away (by my count) from having 10-5 rights as a Cub an essentially a NTC.

      • hansman1982

        If I am thinking correctly 10/5 rights goes by service time. Presently he is at 5 years and change so he has 5 years until he gets the 10/5.

        • cubchymyst

          How does Garza only have 5 years of service time? Does his time in Minnesota count for less than a season?

          • Cubbie Blues

            Yes. It is assumed by MLB (and society in general) that any time spent in Minnesota, for any reason, means that you are in no way a professional of any kind.

          • hansman1982

            ya, from the rough looks of it, his service time there is what got him the Super-two status.

            • Kevin B

              Also I am not sure why Garza would hold for a no trade clause. If he goes free agent no one is giving him a 5 year deal with a no trade clause.

      • Kevin B

        10-5 just means 10 years MLB service time and 5 with the same and current team. Garza could have 20 years in but he only has 2 with the Cubs and would not have those rights for 3 more seasons.

        Now if they extend him then what is Garza’s problem. He would play this year on his current one year arb deal, then he can get no trade rights through 10-5 rights after 2 seasons so if the Cubs give him a 5 year extension the unless he would be traded the first 2 years he would earn no trade protection for the last 3.

  • Spencer

    So the Cubs signed Edwin Jackson?

    • Cubbie Blues

      That’s what I got out of it.

      • Brett

        Oh, you guys …

        • DarthHater

          Verbatim quote from Brett at BleacherNation: “the Cubs are the favorite at this point.”

          I’m getting so excited… 😉

    • Internet Random


  • Frank

    If we do sign Jackson or Marcum, do we shop Wood? He’s young, has several years under team control, and he’s a lefty. Beyond 2013, that would leave us with Jackson or Marcum and Shark, as well as Vizcaino.We could also extend one of Baker or Feldman and/or sign another one or more of them next year. Maybe Bowden or Cabrera work out as starters, as well as Rusin, Raley, and Struck as depth.

    • mudge

      I don’t think so. This FO wants 9 starters deep.

    • Voice of reason

      You can shop wood and get a bag of balls for him.

      The cubs are going to lose 90 plus games this year and don’t see him as part of the future rotation. What other team is going to take him and give you anything at all?

    • Kevin B

      Frank I do not think they will shop Wood. The qualities on Wood you suggest are true but they are not by themselves worth all that. You may get 2 middle of road type prospects for Wood. I would rather have Wood. He is young and controllable and affordably. Also why do we have to move him. What about next year and the year after that. We may not have the depth them, injuries etc. Besides he will compete for the rotation spot. He may get it, then he may do well then he may have value to trade then again if he is young and in rotation and pitching well we would not trade him.

      With Baker and Feldman how do we know we can extend them? They may pitch well and want to test out the FO market.

      • http://facebook legen wait for it dary

        hell no dont trade wood he’s the next sean marshal watch he will be a good RP

  • Deez

    Jackson would be a serious upgrade to our rotation + he’s a better SP at this point in his career than Shark. I don’t think Shark is a #2.
    Plus, when we deal Garza, he’s capable option to have.
    I see 2yr/$25M w/ team option for a 3yr or a $5M buyout. Management now always want “easy ways out” of deals & we have options in that final year to re-up or deal.

    • Kevin B


      You think Edwin Jackson is going to sign a contract for 2 years $25 million with a team option for a third year? Huh? By the way with a $5million buyout its 2 years then $30 million.

      He will get a 4 or 5 year deal. Heck the Padres offered him 3 years already guaranteed for allegedly $36-$39 million, so Jackson would not pass on that to go get a 2 year deal.

  • DPeightysix

    I honestly dont see the value to signing Jackson. Hes okay but on a good team hes a back end starter at best and I dont see him being worth signing. Obviously hes an upgrade over the rotation last year but I dont see it in 2013.

    • Frank

      But he’s young enough to where he can be a part of the rotation later when the team’s competitive, even if he’s a 3 or 4. And it’ll probably be increasingly more difficult to sign free agents as teams lock them up earlier and earlier–so, you try to sign them when they’re available.

      • DPeightysix

        I just dont see the value in signing a guy with a 4.4 career ERA and the propensity to end up with a way higher one, especially at Wrigley. I’d rather see the cubs save their money and bring up young pitchers as they become available because at least they have a higher ceiling. There are at least 2-3 guys I can think of that you could use to achieve the same results for a lot less $. Paying a guy like this $10-$15MM a year is a joke.

    • Kevin B

      You say he is a back end starter on a good team? Yes, like he was with the Nationals.

      Well good teams need back end starters as well. An he would be a better back end starter then many other back end starters. So why not sign him. He is young and he is actually good even if he becomes a back end starter on a 4 or 5 year deal he would be valuable to the Cubs who will be a good team for 3-4 of those years. Why not sign him now when he is available.

  • Larry Cutler

    I wonder how deep the pockets the Cubs have right now? Why give Garza a bunch of money when his elbow probably still hurts when he lifts a brewski out of the fridge? Edwin Jackson would be nice if the can land him. What about Kyle Loshe? And if the Cubs are really desperate, Carlos Zambrano is still a FA. The Cubs signed 3 pitchers all coming off TJ surgery…why? I had heard that the Cubs are now more interested into putting lots of money into renovations at Wrigley Field.. Trouble is the Mayor of Chciago and the Governor of IL won’t budge because of the State of Illinois’s financial trouble and the Rickett’s family sending their political money towards,groups that the Democrat Machine doesn’t like.

    • Kevin B


      The Cubs have plenty of dough but like Ricketts said the day he bought the team its how you spend the money. So your point on Garza now has validity – obviously its a concern and something the FO needs to make a decision on.

      I like Edwin Jackson as well. To answer your question on why they signed 3 pitchers coming of TJ surgery the answer is TJ surgery is not a big deal. I would guess 95% of those with TJ surgery come back – some even better. Strausburg had the surgery just 2 years ago. In addition because of the time they missed and the rehab on the surgery the Cubs got Baker and Feldman on very friendly terms. Its buying VALUE, a smart play. A potential under valued asset that can help the team or help in a trade with low risk. 1 year affordable deals,

      The Korean pitcher they just signed they paid only $100K and he only gets the minor league salary unless and until he is healthy and can pitch. It was a minor league deal, not a major league contract. No roster spot. Its a great low risk high upside deal.

      Of course the Cubs want to renovate Wrigley it needs it! But that does not mean they are not willing to put money into payroll, they will just put it into payroll in an intelligent manner by paying players their value but not greatly overpaying and locking into bad contracts that they get stuck with.

      Not sure where you get your information on Ricketts but that is just plain silly nonesense. You think Mayor Emanuel is stopping a renovation plan because of money going into places the “democratic machine” does not like? First of all though Chicago is a democratic town – no doubt – the democratic machine is long gone my friend. Also Laura Ricketts – a Cubs owner – is an Obama support and Obama fund raiser so there you go.

      Mayor Emanuel is actually hot only a Cubs fan but he is the Mayor first. He knows the Cubs need it and he is working to get it but it has to be a good deal for the taxpayers. He has proposals now but like you can guess Chicago and Illinois politics …..