Journeyman Edwin Jackson hoping to settle in with Cubs
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org January 2, 2013 9:44PM
Chicago Cubs President of baseball operations Theo Epstein listens as the newest member of the Cubs, pitcher Edwin Jackson, addresses the media during his initial press conference Wednesday January 2, 2013 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Returning to Chicago will be the one familiar thing for right-hander Edwin Jackson as he joins the Cubs’ pitching staff.
Jackson, who played for seven teams — including the White Sox — in his first 10 seasons, is changing uniforms again, but he also is getting married to start 2013.
He and his fiancee, Erika, will be married Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where another former Sox player, Chris Singleton — an ESPN analyst and an ordained minister — will officiate.
‘‘He’s just a good friend,’’ Jackson, who signed a four-year,
$54 million deal with the Cubs, said as he was introduced Wednesday at Wrigley Field.
Jackson, 29, will be settling down in his baseball life, too, with his first long-term contract.
‘‘Erika loves the city,’’ said Jackson, who pitched on the South Side in the second half of the 2010 season and in the first half of the 2011 season. ‘‘It’s a matter of the right pieces [with the Cubs] and being on the same page. It’s a team that can win a lot of games, no mater what other people say.’’
Jackson is the first major free-agent signing of president Theo
Epstein’s tenure with the Cubs. General manager Jed Hoyer said the deal was an easy one for the team to pursue.
‘‘He pitched all of last year at the age of 28, he’s incredibly dur-
able and we think his best days are ahead of him,’’ Hoyer said. ‘‘His talent, his age and everything we learned about him as a teammate are why we’re excited to have him.’’
Jackson was 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA last season for the Washington Nationals. He pitched a no-hitter for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 before being traded to the Sox and has been well-traveled
because of his value, Hoyer said.
‘‘A lot of his recent stops have been because of an inability to sign him to contract extensions,’’ Hoyer said, referring to Jackson being traded so teams can get value for him before losing him for nothing at the end of a season.
‘‘I think everyone likes me,’’ a smiling Jackson said of his travels. ‘‘Most of the trades were to contenders or teams already going to the playoffs. I never looked at it as a negative.’’
Hoyer said Jackson’s experience with developing teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays and Nationals was another plus for the Cubs.
‘‘He’s been part of rebuilding and can see that [potential] here,’’ Hoyer said.