Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs officially announced the signing of free agent starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, and introduced him to the media. Among the notable quotes/thoughts/reactions/etc.(which you can find here, here, here, and here, among other places) …
First, from Jackson, himself:
- On why he’s been on so many teams in his young career: “I think everyone likes me.” He dropped that one with a smile, and it’s the moment I started liking him, too.
- No, but seriously, on why he’s been on so many teams: “The only thing I take from it is that as long as people are going out and trying to get me on their team, it says a lot. Most of the times I’ve been traded, it’s to a playoff contending team. I never looked at it as a negative. As long as someone wants me and they want me on their team and around their players and in their clubhouse, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t have to worry about the bad rap on my name.”
- On what it’s like to sign a four-year deal: “It definitely feels great. I think the most assuring part is that you have the chance to relax and know that you’re going to be somewhere for a while and you don’t have to feel like you have to prove yourself every year. I think it’s definitely going to help to just go out and have fun and not have to worry about anything else.” That, of course, can cut both ways (some guys respond to the pressure of having to “prove it” every year), but hopefully Jackson will settle in and become the best version of himself that he can be.
- On what he expects from the Cubs in 2013: “It’s an organization that has upside. It’s a matter of the right pieces and being on the same page. It’s a team that can win a lot of games, no mater what other people say.” I’m glad he’s positive, but I suppose that’s about what you’d expect him to say. I wouldn’t be surprised if he knows that his addition has as much to do with 2014 as it does with 2013.
- Jackson will be getting married on Saturday, as well. Heck of a good week.
And from Cubs GM Jed Hoyer:
- On signing Jackson, specifically, and on signing someone like Jackson right now: “He pitched all of last year at 28 years old, he’s been incredibly durable, had some really excellent seasons during his time in the big leagues, and we actually think his best days are ahead of him. He fits very well on the team in 2013, but we think he fits even better going forward as a core member of what we’re trying to build here in Chicago. His talent, his age, and everything we learned about him as a teammate were all reasons we were excited to add him to the roster, and we’re excited to go forward with Edwin as a big part of our club.”
- On the financial side of Jackson’s many previous stops: “I think a lot of his recent stops were due to the fact that you couldn’t sign him to an extension and teams were willing to take what they could get in trade rather than lose him for nothing.” The implication there is that Jackson, who was represented by Scott Boras at the time, was not willing to sign a long-term extension before testing free agency, and was thus traded by teams who feared losing him for nothing. Makes sense to me, and doesn’t really reflect badly on Jackson.
- On the clubhouse side of Jackson’s many previous stops: “We did all the digging we could do. The reasons for him moving around certainly weren’t [because] he wasn’t a good teammate or didn’t work hard. It was kind of more contractual.” I’ve been told that Jackson is an excellent teammate, so I didn’t really have concerns in that regard. Good to know the Cubs did their diligence, just in case, though.
- Speaking of which, on what Hoyer’s heard about Jackson on the bench: “No one’s quite Matt Garza on the bench, but I guess he does a close imitation.” Garza, in case you’d forgotten, is probably the most involved non-playing player I’ve ever seen – he’s always at the top of the rail, deeply into the game, cheering on his teammates, shouting about the game. It’s awesome.
The Tribune has a little video package for those who missed the press conference:
And some additional video from CSN Chicago (includes both a Jackson video and a Hoyer video, if you click forward):