Sign All the Pitchers: Cubs Reportedly Sign BOTH Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva (UPDATES)

Pending physicals, the Cubs’ pitching staff is about to get crazy deep …

  • BOOM: Patrick Mooney reports that the Cubs have signed Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal, pending a physical.
  • The following bullets were from before that Mooney report, so they may sound a bit off – still useful stuff, though.
  • Dave Kaplan reports that the Cubs are in “prime position,” per sources, to land Edwin Jackson. Given that we’ve heard from multiple sources that the Cubs are the favorite, and we’ve started hearing numbers – four years, $52 million, the tea leaves are really strongly pointing to the Cubs getting their man. Kap adds that the Christmas holiday could hold up the timing of an announcement, but …
  • Jackson’s former teammate in Washington certainly thinks Jackson has come to an agreement today, tweeting, “Congrats to my boy @EJ36 for his big deal today. You will be missed, couldn’t of happened to an amazing friend and great pitcher.” That doesn’t mean it’s the Cubs, obviously, but it sure seems likely.
  • Another former teammate – Matt Garza – continues to suggest that Jackson is coming to the Cubs. Adding a bit more to his cryptic tweets earlier (asking what uniform Jackson might wear), Garza notes that he “knows Jackson really well.” Which could mean that Garza knows Jackson wants to come to the Cubs, or it could mean simply that Garza knows uniform number is very important to Jackson. Obviously the former makes slightly more sense, but, once again, this isn’t a confirmation that the Cubs are definitely getting him.
  • Speaking of Garza, and this will obviously become the subject of a great deal more discussion if and when the Jackson signing is made official, Kap says that he hears from agents that the Cubs don’t plan on flipping any of the pitchers they’ve signed. But Kap doesn’t hear the same thing about Garza (implying that the Cubs could deal with their glut of starting pitchers by dealing Garza – to which I say, “still virtually impossible to trade him until he shows he’s healthy”).
  • On Carlos Villanueva, whom we heard about earlier today and last night, multiple reports now have the deal as done, pending a physical. So that’s the status there.
  • I’ll wait for just a bit more confirmation before delving deeply into the implications of the moves (roster, rotation, plans, etc.), and the substance of the deals. Instant reaction is: I love the depth it gives the Cubs, and I love the options it gives them. I think each deal is very fair in this market, and the arrow is pointing up.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal’s sources also tell him that the Cubs and Jackson are in agreement on a four-year, $52 million deal.

UPDATE the Second: Jon Heyman and Jim Bowden enter the fray, and also confirm on Jackson. By the way, Bowden was the one who started this whole discussion of the Cubs and Jackson actually potentially happening this week, so he probably deserves some credit.

UPDATE the Third: Heyman says there’s no no-trade clause in Jackson’s deal, which was never really a concern.

UPDATE the Fourth: Probably worth linking back to my take on Jackson as a target for the Cubs from earlier this week. I’ll have much more on him and the rotation in the coming days/weeks/etc. The Cubs’ situation has changed pretty dramatically in the last two days, even if these two pitchers don’t actually suddenly turn them into a playoff contender.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

488 responses to “Sign All the Pitchers: Cubs Reportedly Sign BOTH Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva (UPDATES)”

  1. Rizzo44

    Ok glad we got this one done Theo and Jed. Time to focus on getting another pitcher… Just kidding! Hahaha. But really, now that we have Jackson, Shark, Garza, Villanueva, Baker and Feldman, I’d say lets try to trade for Olt from Texas. Maybe a Marmol package with prospects for Olt and another pitcher? I see a trade coming soon. Next target, Michael Bourn. I would love to see Bourn in the beginning of our lineup. Make it happen Theo and Jed! Loving the offseason so far!

  2. The Show

    Love these signings! All we need is another lefty for the bullpen and another consistent bat with a little pop and we wont be THAT bad next season!

    1. Carne Harris

      I’m guessing Wood’s gonna be that lefty… at least first half.

  3. cubsklm

    Hopefully this is enough pitching.

    Now, let’s see if we can add an offensive piece.
    It will be interesting to see what the next move(s) will be.

    We desperately need another stick in the outfield.

  4. another JP

    Wow… four starting pitchers signed by the Cubs is going to really change the market for teams needing them. Kyle Lohse just hit the jackpot and is the only healthy option remaining for Texas, Cleveland, or anyone else. Should also be beneficial if the Cubs want to move Garza or even Shark for a third baseman… would love to see us dangle Samardjiza + prospects for Headley and see what San Diego says. That move alone would make us a .500 team next season.

  5. Frank

    So who’s the odd men out? Baring a trade, I’d have to go with Rusin and Clevenger.

  6. jediwarrior

    I’m excited we signed both of these pitchers. Gives us plenty of options if we trade Garza. Is it inconceivable that we trade could Travis Wood and spare parts to the Pirates for Hanrahan, then flip Hanrahan for Smyly. Last I heard we weren’t a trade fit for the Tigers for one of their two young starters.

  7. dan

    We also signed Cory Wade where does he fit? Rondon might be returned.

    1. Luke D

      Iowa, until he can prove otherwise.

  8. Vince

    Still think we could use another starter or two.

    1. Rizzo44

      Lol

  9. The Show

    Now who’s the OF bat we can go after?

    1. Rizzo44

      Bourn.

  10. Dustin S

    Even though Jackson isn’t probably Cy Young material, this is great news and I am looking forward to next season a bit more now. Decent SP just makes games a whole lot more bearable to watch over a season.

    This does make the starting rotation a little intriguing as far as who starts and who goes to the pen. Wood wants to start, and Feldman signed here because he was told he’d have a chance to start. But if Baker and Garza are healthy there is no room (barring a trade, which isn’t even an option until Garza shows he’s ok). So I could foresee a couple of unhappy guys if things stay as-is. When Theo and Jed first came over to the Cubs they said that they like to go into the season with 7 starters to be in a good position for injuries, and they’re holding true to that.

  11. Rizzo44

    When will Jackson’s press conference be held?

    1. Jason

      You guys still think this is real :) Haven’t we learned yet?

      1. Rizzo44

        Yeah I will believe it when he’s holding up a Cubs jersey and shaking Jed’s hand lol…

        1. another JP

          When Ken Rosenthal reported the news that was good enough for me.

  12. chris

    i think if we add another bat with rizzo and castro have good years we should be a 500 team with all the pitching depth we have.

  13. chris

    probably after the holidays.

  14. itzscott

    Let’s do Marmol, Junior Lake and Clevenger for Olt!

    1. Gcheezpuff

      The Rangers wouldn’t sniff that… Only way to get Olt is to trade Garza.

  15. chris

    i would love to see bourn in center next year

  16. chris

    olt would be a good fit since we are rebuilding

  17. Mike S

    I don’t understand why so many people are calling for Michael Bourne. He’s too expensive and getting up there in age. The smart decision would be to go out and sign Cody Ross.

    Also, love the rotation bulk. This better mean we are building for a huge trade for David Price next year!!! Really don’t want to see Garza leave though

    1. Njriv

      I would like seeing Cody Ross here, but I doubt the Cubs can or will compete for him with other teams willing to win now and over spend for him.

  18. chris

    i thought we had haren until the last minute and it fell through.

  19. Kevin

    The Cubs FO is tasked with trying to do 2 things simultaneously; 1) Rebuild the minor league system, and 2) field a competitive major league team. The trick is to do both without sacrificing the growth of either. The moves the FO have made so far this offseason proves they are able to accomplish both. Good job FO!

    1. Adventurecizin' Justin

      Agreed! Since Ricketts has taken over, the system has drastically improved, he’s hired winners, those winners have created new positions, they’ve laid out a plan, and they have been sticking to that plan! I may not like every single move, but the Cubs will be perennially contending in a couple of years, in my opinion.

    2. another JP

      Agreed Kevin. All the hand-wringing about the minor acquisitions and small incremental moves were significant in improving the overall talent within the organization. I still think this FO has another major move forthcoming this off-season and can’t wait to see what they come up with.

  20. chris

    garza is a good pitcher but to many DL stints so trade him now.

    1. Njriv

      It’s not going to be easy to trade him now, since it’s been a long time since he has pitched. Teams are going to want to see him in, in-game action before teams start to pursue him.

  21. chris

    they rebuilt boston they will do a good job with the cubs to.

  22. Eric O.

    What about Jedd Gyorko as a possible 3rd basemen to target? The Padres wanted a pitcher and now we have too many. Plus, he is blocked by Chase Headley. Gyorko mashed in the minors and with our connections with the Padres I think we could get a deal done.

    1. Njriv

      Seems like a good idea, and I’m all for it.

    2. Carew

      Im on board. Who would the deal include for both sides?

    3. abe

      with SD small budget they would more likely trade headely.

    4. BWA

      Would the Pads have any intereste in Wood?

  23. Grant

    One of my favorite things about signing Jackson – no draft pick compensation since he wasn’t given a qualifying offer. Admittedly our first round pick is protected, but we’ll have the 2nd best 2nd round pick, so it’s nice to not lose that either.

  24. Kevin

    Is it possible to get Michael Bourn in a “sign and trade” deal so we don’t lose the 2nd round pick?

    1. hansman1982

      No, you can’t trade recently signed FA until June.

      Even if it were, that’d just be silly – give up prospectS for a 2nd round draft pick?

  25. lou brock lives

    Cubs should visit with Rockies on CF & 3B. Their depth chart indicates they are overloaded with players at both positions. They are looking for relief & starting pitching in return & maybe a left handed hitting catcher. I would target Eric Young Jr. who is a switch hitter with speed for CF & Jordan Pacheco for 3B/1B/C with a good right handed utility player off the bench. Cubs could offer Clevenger, Dolis, Mc Nutt, & Lendy Castillo.

  26. Peter

    hey, could someone tell me who shark is and include a link to his stats, can’t find anything on him and never heard of him. Hard to get excited about some young prospect when I don’t see him mentioned anywhere in the media through espn or mlb

    1. BluBlud

      Uh, Shark is Jeff Samardzija

    2. Tommy

      That was a joke, right?

      1. Peter

        no, I never have heard that nickname. If he had that nickname during his tenure I would not know because I dont give a shit about college sports.

        1. TWC

          Me-ow. Chillax, Petey. Whatever its provenance, he’s had the nickname for the entire time he’s been playing for the Cubs.

    3. Rcleven
  27. BluBlud

    We should put a package together of Dejesus and needed prospects to Texas for Olt and then possibly sign Bourn and one of Ross or Swisher. Scott Hairston is an interesting fit also and can probably be had for cheaper then the others. If all else fails, there is always Delmon Young.
    on the low end there is still Grady Siezmore. The ubs have some option, and I expect that atleast one of those names will be added to the roster.

    1. Demarrer

      First off, why would Texas do that trade? Mike Olt is a very high rated prospect, why would they be trading him for something like that? It would take Garza or one of the Cubs top prospects to get him.

      I also don’t understand the desire to sign all of these older, declining outfielders. Sure our offense is bad but adding one of these guys won’t help us. Also we are building through the draft first and foremost, and some of these FAs have draft pick compensation tied to them. Is a year or two of Bourne worth the Cubs second round pick? What if Bourne gets a 1 year deal from the Cubs and tears his ACL? We lose a draft pick AND get nothing back. It isn’t worth the risk. The FO is doing good, smart things right now. Let’s not start shooting out nonsensical ideas.

      1. BluBlud

        I think bourn is the only one with draft pick compensation tied to him. I don’t think Swiaher or Ross has any compensation, and sure Hairston doesn’t. One thing is certain, we need at least one more outfielder. I not so Certain a deal of Dejesus and certain prospect wouldn’t get a deal done for the Cubs. Dejesus, Wood and Lake might not be enough, but it’s a starting point. It would at least in my opinion, get talks started. Bourn is a big gamble because the compensation, but one I would be willing to take. But a 2 or 3 year deal for Ross, Hairston or Young would not do any damage to the Cubs building for the future.

  28. Tommy

    Garza
    Samardzija
    Jackson
    Baker
    Feldman
    Villanueva
    Wood

    Not saying it’s the best rotation in baseball, but that’s some nice depth, and we could do a lot worse. I’m pretty excited to see how the rotation plays out and performs.

    1. hansman1982

      yup, right now we are 7 deep with 7 legitimate starters.

      1. nkniacc13

        With 3 that have experience pitching out of bullpen if needed

        1. MichiganGoat

          Yes it a huge improvement and I’m quite excited, BUT lets not get our fandom clouding our expectations. It is a promising rotation and full of depth BUT it’s not as elite as some are starting to think. It is a great start to the new Cubs and I don’t think the FO is done making moves. The plan is coming together and that makes me a happy goat,

          1. gutshot5820

            MichiganGoat you just made me laugh at home. You have been pounding on anyone who thinks the Cubs should spend, yelling on the mountaintop that the time is not right to spend now, that we should build through the farm, that it doesn’t make any sense to spend money now. Anyone who even mentioned that we should spend got an immediate rebuke from you.

            Now you are saying you are a happy goat because we are spending, LMAO. You crack me up.

            1. MichiganGoat

              Oh gunshot you obviously don’t read my post carefully because what I’ve always been against is over spending on the Genkie, Hamilton, Pujols, Fielders that many of you have been demanding we spend on just because we have the money. Spending 52M over 4 years is an affordable deal in today’s market. You really need to understand what you are reading and quit trying to troll up an arguement. Is there where you call me a sheep? Unbelievable.

              1. gutshot5820

                LOL. I really don’t mind because I’m pretty happy and I’m not looking to start any argument, but I laughed when i read your post.

                I’ve been writing that we should add one or two decent free agents a year and whenever I write something like that you immediately attacked me that the time was not right, it was no use to spend now.

                But whatever, it’s all good, we are all Cubs fans and now I am happy that we are at east trying to put a watchable team out there.

              2. DarthHater

                ♪ Oh, the weather outside is frightful
                ♪ And in here the tone is spiteful.
                ♪ But since we’ve no place to go,
                ♪ Let ‘em troll, let ‘em troll, let ‘em troll.

                1. MichiganGoat

                  Oh Darth you make me laugh ;)

                  1. Internet Random

                    Darth comes up with some pretty good material from time to time.

                    1. DarthHater

                      Yea, but only very, very rarely. ;-)

                2. gutshot5820

                  Whatever dudes, Goat you are still the ultimate sheep but at least I now know you have no idea what you are talking about. It must be hard to breathe with all the smell from Theo’s butt on your nose.

                  Don’t you feel just a lil guilty for bashing all the people who were suggesting that we should spend and now you are claiming the plan is on track all along. Good grief you are a wonder sheep.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    And there is the trollish behavior I was talking about, BAAAAH IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE. Oh and learn to read.

                    1. gutshot5820

                      Goat, how old are you anyways, you act so dumb sometimes? I rarely read any of your comments anymore anyways because all you ever write is me too me too and when you dissent its always IGNORE and TROLL.

                      Did you ever think you are the TROLL? I like to think independently and I can make my own judgments of Theo good or bad. My automatic response to people in authority is not I trust in Theo because he must be smarter than me. because we all know that people in higher authority never make mistakes….yea right.

                    2. MichiganGoat

                      And the trollish behavior continues, you always take everything soooo personally. Yeah very mature.

                    3. gutshot5820

                      Goat, read more carefully. You were NOT on the spend smartly train. When you thought Theo was not going to spend, you were definitely on the rebuild the farm, why spend any money now, we will spend when we are ready to compete train. So don’t be a hypocrite now and even try to attempt that that was what you were saying all along.

                      i wouldn’t even care except you were TROLLING the entire blog bashing everyone who thought we should spend on one or two free agents just to be on the right track. And now you are DENYING this? LMAO.

                      On top of that you are claiming that was your idea all along? You are the ultimate sheep Goat.

                    4. MichiganGoat

                      Okay gunshot I’m going to take the high road here and make this offer. Here is the plan:

                      1-You never reply to me
                      2-I’ll never respond to you
                      3-You never mention me in a post
                      4-I’ll never refer to you behavior as trolling
                      5-We are dead to each other and will continue to interact with other without muddying up the conversation with this childish back and forth.

                      Just remember this was you that started this argument, you called me out and I should have stayed away from the bait but if we follow this plan we can continue to enjoy the site.

                      Continue and a have a great night. This is the best and mature way to ensure that BleacherNation continues to be the best place for Cubs news.

                    5. gutshot5820

                      Goat, I’m sorry to tell you that life does not work that way. You don’t get to bash everyone online as if you were getting paid to do that and then when the wind blows the other way say, I have nothing more to say to you. You don’t get to bash everyone online with TROLL and then say you are going to take the high road and now let’s be gentlemen. Life doesn’t work that way.

                      Although, we probably won’t have any further disagreements because most of the we should spend crowd have been satisfied and you have nobody left to bash.

                      The only thing left to say to you is I will be laughing every time you post something like Jackson is a great contract for the Cubs. LOL, you are such a sheep.

                      Two weeks ago if anyone suggested these signings or a Bourn signing, you would have done your automatic rebuke and attack IGNORE and TROLL thing you have down pat. Anyways, thanks for the laughs today.

                  2. bbmoney

                    Goat you have Founders. Gutshot likely doesn’t. I’m not even sure what the argument is about……BUT YOU HAVE FOUNDERS at if I recall from this morning a $6 cab ride away. We’ll leave it at that.

                    Go Cubs. Love today’s signings.

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      That might be why I’m snarky ;)

  29. Spriggs

    This is just outstanding news! I really have a good feeling about these latest signings.

    At the very minimum, it should mean we won’t have to be tortured by the likes of such starters as Rusin, Raley, Lopez, Berken, Doug Davis, Ortiz, Coleman, and Germano… making a combined 50+ starts a year. (and if we are, hopefully it will be because of great trades and flipping for very good + prospects — instead of a flock of injuries).

    1. another JP

      According to fangraphs the Cubs had 46 starts by pitchers with an ERA over 6.3 last year. No wonder we lost 101 games and being able to win half those games that were lost last season means we should be a 75-80 win team.

  30. notcubbiewubbie

    great job theo and jed and unlike the previous administration so so so glad no trade clauses are not involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!