The Cubs continue their strong pursuit of starting pitching and are now apparently in contract talks with RHP Edwin Jackson.
Jackson, who spent last season with the Nationals, posted a mediocre 4.03 ERA with a 8.2 H/9 and 1.218 WHIP in 189.2 total IP. While none of these metrics knock socks off, his 1.1 HR/9 and 2.8 BB/9 complimented with a 21% K/BF ratio are all impressive and indicative of very nice control – something the Cubs value.
Jackson is also known for having a solid mix of cutters and sliders which make his high 90’s fastball very effective. This is a solid guy to have on the mound to eat innings for your squad.
But even with all this, I wouldn’t love to see him signed for a multitude of reasons.
Jackson, at age 29, is a little older than most guys who are at their physical peak and tends to show signs of being a “thrower” and not really a pitcher. For the casual fans, it means that pitching to contact for quick outs seems to be the main set of weaponry which may not align with the Cubs’ goals at this time. His choice of pitches is sometimes alarming to me and can’t really seem to find a rhythm with a solid knockout punch pitch, as indicated by his 6.9 career K/9 (much lower than it should be for a player of his talents.)
If the Cubs can get Jackson to sign on to a 2-3 year deal, then a deal could be of value to the team. However anything longer that a 3 year term may be an over-extension of his potentially effective years to come. Keep in mind the starting pitcher market is massively inflated right now, especially after the Zack Greinke signing. The Cubs will have to tread carefully on this one in order to avoid being burned by this potential deal when they’re World Series contenders.
Keep in mind, this is all speculation at this point. More to come as news breaks.