1/2 Congratulations, Edwin & Erika
The Cubs gave Edwin Jackson quite a wedding present on Wednesday. Jackson, 29, who will marry Erika Zanders on Saturday, signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Cubs. The deal was consummated after GM Jed Hoyer and manager Dale Sveum met with the free agent right-hander in Newport Beach, Calif., at the same time that the Cubs were courting free agent Anibal Sanchez. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein met with Sanchez in Florida. Both Jackson and Sanchez fit what the Cubs were looking for — young, durable pitchers who they could build around. Epstein’s meeting with Sanchez was leaked; Hoyer’s was not.
“It’s hard to sign free agent players in general and we knew we were going to go after both guys,” Hoyer said. “We did a better job hiding our (meeting with Jackson).”
Jackson has been busy with wedding preparations, and that, plus the holidays, delayed the official signing until Wednesday.
The Cubs will be his sixth different team in the last six Opening Days. What gives?
“I think everyone likes me,” said Jackson, laughing. “The only thing I take from it is that as long as people are going out and trying to get me on their team, it says a lot. Most of the times I’ve been traded, it’s to a playoff contending team. I never looked at it as a negative. As long as someone wants me and they want me on their team and around their players and in their clubhouse, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t have to worry about the bad rap on my name.”
Jackson did change agents last summer, leaving Scott Boras, but didn’t want to talk about that.
“I think a lot of his recent stops were due to the fact that you couldn’t sign him to an extension and teams were willing to take what they could get in trade rather than lose him for nothing,” Hoyer said.
Jackson and Zanders flew home late Wednesday to get back to the wedding details.
“I’m not really nervous about either,” Jackson said about the pending nuptials and starting for the Cubs. “I’m trying to calm my nerves. With wedding planning, two people can’t be nervous.”
– Carrie Muskat