While we wait for some news that directly involves the Cubs, the best we can do is news that affects them indirectly.
Pitcher Edwin Jackson, one of the two free agent alternatives to Matt Garza, has signed with the Washington Nationals on a one year deal believed to be between $8-$12M, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
The deal affects the Cubs in a number of ways.
- The signing could be used as a comp for Matt Garza when trying to determine his 2012 salary at the arbitration hearing. If it's closer to $12M, that could be worrisome for the Cubs.
- As mentioned, some considered Jackson as a money-only alternative to Garza. Personally, I think Garza is the better pitcher when you look at peripherals, but teams may have opted to go with a lesser pitcher if it meant keeping their prospects.
- Roy Oswalt remains as the only free agent alternative to Garza and that may get teams interested in talking trade with the Cubs. Oswalt is said to favor the Cardinals and the Rangers. The Cardinals were never going to be a destination for Garza and the Rangers have seemed lukewarm about the possibility since signing Darvish. While I never like to see the Cardinals improve themselves, it may benefit the Cubs long term better if he signs there.
- There were some talk here as well as on Twitter asking why the Cubs themselves didn't show any interest in Jackson. Jackson may have made some sense as a #3 starter on a 3 year deal, but on a 1 year agreement he would not have been such a great idea. The Cubs chances of contending in 2012 are slim and they would have had to trade him to recoup any value.
- There have been some rumors that the Nationals would be interested in obtaining Marlon Byrd in exchange for LHP John Lannan. The Cubs seem pretty deep as far as pitchers go and I'm not sure Lannan is a huge improvement over what they have -- he may not be an improvement at all except for the fact that he's younger than Maholm and more of a long term fit. Frankly, while I realize Byrd isn't here for the long time, the deal doesn't thrill me. Still, with Brett Jackson almost ready to replace Byrd and with Edwin Jackson signing with the Nationals, it certainly seems that both players are now expendable.
Filed under: Free Agency