Nationals sign Edwin Jackson

Nationals sign Edwin Jackson

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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


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  • Hi John:

    I agree, the Byrd-for-Lannan swap is a dud. I like MB - he is a legit hitter and has a great attitude. I do not think we should dump him, unless we get serious value.

    I'm not sure I agree that BJax is "almost ready." We'll see how he does in Spring Training. If he has a monster spring, then we can talk about moving Byrd.

  • In reply to MarkOlberding:

    Just doesn't seem that exciting, does it? Lannan's okay and the best thing about him is he's 27 and doesn't become a FA for a couple of years. Salaries match up kind of nicely too. Could be a longer term replacement for Maholm, but I'm not going to be disappointed if it doesn't happen.

    The 2010 Byrd was a pretty good player, plus he plays the D this kind of team is looking for. He is the only true CF'er other than Jackson who, as we both mentioned, probably isn't quite ready yet. That trade idea doesn't excite me much either way but I think I'd actually rather have Byrd and see if we can't get prospects later.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, Lannan doesn't do much for me, and I don't want his salary back either. I would trade Byrd for a bag of balls though. If we could dump that 6.5 mil and get a mid level prospect back, i would be happy. He had a great first 2 months in 2010, and he parlayed that into an allstar game. Since that first two months, at least offensively, he's been just about worthless. He has no power, and he's not a high OBP guy either. His D is good, but he's getting older, and that's going to start slipping too.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    Byrd is probably worth a bit more than a bag of balls ;) Not a lot of true CF'er out there and he plays it well. His 2010 bat plays there nicely too. As far as the Cubs are concerned, they're going to need to move on soon but I don't see him as a bad solution if you have a good hitting team and need a CF'er (i.e. Washington).

  • i think itd be one thing if we made the lannan byrd swap if the cubs had an over abundance of of's and the nationals had an over abundance of sp's but we'd basically be giving up our starting center fielder, filling their teams biggest need just for taking a guy whod provide depth in the 6-9 spots in our rotation. im not saying we should get a lot more for byrd, but id much rather have one A ball prospect and more salary relief any day than just take lannan off their hands, we'd basically be doing them a favor if we made this trade.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    That pretty much sums up why it doesn't excite me too much. There's no substance to the rumor anyway, just speculation.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Byrd for Lannan would be a great trade for both teams. Byrd is possible bench player midseason and is past his prime. Lannan is a young lefty starter with a 3.70 ERA last season. You're not going to get star pitching in return for Marlon Byrd. I'd be surprised if the Nats would be willing to make the trade, but if they are the Cubs should jump on it.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I think in a vacuum it's a good deal, but for a team playing for the future, you may only get two years of Lannan in exchange. His ERA looks decent but his peripherals suggest that he won't sustain that. I'm not sure he's better than what we have right now and while I'm not terrified of losing Byrd, I just wonder if we're better off getting younger talent with a bit more upside and who may be ready to peak when the Cubs are ready to contend. Maybe instead of Lannan, you get the prospect version of him in exchange for Byrd.

  • I am fine with keeping Byrd, at least for a while longer, but if we trade him I would prefer a different deal.

    Any news on progress with deal for Garza?

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    No news. My guess is that the EJax deal could speed it along as it seems like a reasonable, recent comp. Garza's periphery stats are better but I don't think those are used in these arb cases. There results are similar. If a deal gets done, it'll be a last minute thing.

  • I don't know guys. For me, I'd do the Lannan/Byrd swap. Byrd is here for this year only, we're not contending this year. We gain a LH SP under control a couple more years. Short of Oswalt and his limited two-team destinations, we would virtually corner the market for SP trade bait (Garza). Not saying Garza's GONNA be traded, but we're in a good spot.

  • In reply to Bill:

    While we might get something for Lannan down the road, I don't think he, or any of the pitchers the Nats might trade is a reasonable replacement for Garza. Lannan's just an arm, while Garza's a potential difference maker.

    In a vacuum, it's a pretty fair trade depending on what you need. It depends on whether you think what the Cubs need more, a stopgap CF'er or a stopgap SP. My opinion is the CF'er is more important given the team's roster status right now. It's just my opinion, but I'd wait to trade Byrd.

  • As a transplanted Cubs fan and Nats season ticket holder I would make the swap. Lannen is very mediocre. He doesn't strike out enough guys and walks too many. He is a an extreme ground ball pitcher which might not be all bad. He just won $5 mm in arbitration so it would save a little money. All in all not an inspiring trade but you can never have too many lefties.

  • In reply to RTGrules:

    I could live with it. As a straight up trade, it's not a bad one. I just wonder if the Cubs might be better off taking a chance on a prospect.

  • 7 pitchers in alphabetical order. Dempster, Garza, Lannan, Maholm, Wells, Wood and Volstad. 7 career ERAs. 3.83, 4.00, 4.01, 4.18, 4.36, 4.41 and 4.59. If you guessed that Garza has the lowest career ERA, you were right. Guess who has the 2nd lowest?

  • My guess would be Lannan, if only because this thread is focusing on that trade speculation, but also because none of these other guys have been ERA type pitchers in their careers. Other guess would have been Wood because he was very good in 2010, but a bad 2011 probably cancels him out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Lannan it is! If I were the Cubs, I'd consider acquiring him.

  • I think the Cubs have it clear that they are not going to do any salary swaps. If they get another pitcher, it will be on the cheap.

  • In reply to Fitz:

    I tend to think this is the case too. Won't rule out Lannan since they would actually save money and he's still young, but I don't get the feeling the Cubs are looking in this direction. I don't have inside info, just my opinion.

  • John, been wondering as well why the Cubs didn't make a move for Jackson as well. He seems like a solid replacement when Dempster is gone.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    For whatever reason, teams seem don't seem to be sold on Jackson. He has great stuff and his results have been improving, but yet didn't get any solid multi-year offers despite being the best pitcher on the market after Darvish and CJ Wilson. And I'd much rather have Jackson on that deal than Wilson on the deal the Angels paid. I think part of the issue was that his asking price was too high on a multi-year deal and teams felt more comfortable giving him that kind of salary for one year -- and if it's one year, it just doesn't make much sense for the Cubs. Other than that, I'm not sure.

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    I don't think it's necessarily a bad trade idea, but it's unnecessary. This would've been a better scenario a month ago though, before the Cubs signed Maholm. Now that the Cubs have a lot of capable starting pitchers I really dont see a need for another. Byrd is a good consistent player, so I have no problem keeping him around until the trade deadline when Jackson may be ready for a call up. If we trade Byrd I would rather it be for a minor league player though. Even a low A player with potential. That would seem to fit the teams rebuilding plans better. And a good start to the 2012 season could boost Byrds value. It's not a bad trade, it just doesn't make sense right now.

  • In reply to Bill Newton:

    I was just talking to Tom earlier and said the same thing. If they didn't sign Maholm, I'd be much more inclined to do this trade. You'd save money and a roster spot and you'd have a replacement for Byrd by midseason.

  • John

    I seem to remember WGN putting up a graphic last year that showed Marlon Byrd had a VERY LOW BA with RISP : Something like 1 for 40. So, unless we think Marlon can turn that around, I'm all for trading him for the best we can get.


  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I found Marlon's 2011 RISP stats online (google "Marlon Byrd RISP")
    RISP avg = .198
    RISP w/2 out avg. = 194
    RISP with bases loaded avg. = .118

    That's not quite as bad as the "1 for 40" that I remembered, but it's still pretty bad...

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    John, Byrd was never the same last year after getting beaned. He just didn't have that agressive bat anymore. I think the time off this winter will be good. I would not make the Lannan trade but would play him the first half of the year and someone will have an injury and need a good outfielder. I think we'll get our best trade and I bet we'll see Byrd bounce back toward his 2010 stats. At least that's my hope.

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