In the end, it all worked out for former Nationals starter Edwin Jackson. On Thursday, the right-hander signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, according to ESPN. He finally has found the security he has been seeking all these years.
After hitting the open market expecting to cash in last winter, Jackson had to settle for a one-year, $11 million "pillow" contract, as former agent Scott Boras put it. By the summer, Boras was no longer representing Jackson, who was miffed that things didn't work out to his liking.
Instead of a long-term deal at age 28 -- not unreasonable for a pitcher who was considered durable and in two of the previous three seasons had posted a sub-4.00 ERA -- Jackson had to take the Nats' offer in late January shortly before spring training started. They were his seventh big league club and sixth in just four years.
Jackson always was deemed just good enough to be a trade chip but never so valuable that a team had to break the bank to keep him in town. Even Washington, after watching him make 31 starts and finishing with a 4.03 ERA in 1892Ú3 innings, decided it could find more value for its money. The Nats didn't even make a qualifying offer at $13.3 million -- afraid that Jackson might actually take it. That looks like a mistake now given the draft pick that would have come their way. Washington instead signed veteran Dan Haren for $300,000 less.
Jackson even received a no-trade clause, which means if he just pitches to expectations -- a solid mid-rotation starter, not the star that his stuff sometimes suggests -- he will be with the Cubs longer than he has stayed in any one place in his pro career. He's finally found a home.
- Brian McNally