According to Jon Heyman, the Chicago Cubs are not only listening on starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, but they are affirmatively trying to move him.
Jackson’s struggles this year are well-documented, and I won’t belabor them here. To the extent the Cubs can save some of the $26 million-ish left on his deal between now and the end of 2016, and can open up a rotation spot to give possible back-end replacements a look the rest of this year, I’m sure they’d be interested in exploring their options. As you might expect, however, the Cubs are not finding much interest (even from the Yankees), says Heyman.
I’ve always said I don’t have a beef with the Cubs hanging onto Jackson, so long as they aren’t necessarily married to forcing him into the rotation for the duration of his contract if he’s not earning it. Perhaps a swing role or even a short-inning role could work for him down the road. Or maybe he gets back on track, and at least serves out his time as an acceptable 5th starter. All of these things remain possible. It’s also possible that Jackson could benefit from a change of scenery, perhaps in a “bad” contract swap.
In any case, many eyes will be on Jackson when he starts against the Rockies on July 29. Even if the Cubs don’t deal him before the deadline, because of his contract, Jackson will be able to be moved in August as a waiver deal (if a team were to claim Jackson on waivers, the Cubs would probably say, “OK, take him”; and, if he clears waivers, then he’s free to be traded). In that regard, there isn’t a ton of urgency – but, to the extent the Cubs are competing with other teams trying to sell off fringe starters before the deadline, that’s where the urgency comes into play.
For his part, Jackson told Sahadev Sharma that he’s been traded many times before, and just doesn’t worry about it anymore.
How Jackson’s hand cramps last night affect things is unclear, though I’d expect that *if* a team were interested in dealing for Jackson, they would probably be comforted enough by an effective start next time out, just before the deadline, and medical reports that indicate it’s not a chronic issue.
In the end, I don’t think a trade is likely. Not impossible. But not likely.