LOS ANGELES – Anyone still need pitching? How about a one-time All-Star with a World Series ring who’s thrown a no-hitter? He’s not that old – 31 next month – and there’s a long track record of durability and high velocity. Plus, everyone agrees he’s a good dude in the clubhouse.
The Cubs are still open for business, but it’s unlikely they will be able to move Edwin Jackson during the August waiver period. But Sunday’s 7-3 victory at Dodger Stadium became a step in the right direction with Jackson going six innings and beating a first-place team.
The Cubs (47-63) won the series in front of the big, star-studded crowds at Chavez Ravine, avoiding the hangover from the July 31 deadline but not the questions about what could come next.
“I don’t know how many times I can say it,” Jackson said afterward. “I say it with a smile. I say without a smile. I worry about what I can control now. Other than that, I have a job and my job is to be prepared for the next start. Anything other than that, it’s out of my hands, it’s out of my control. So why worry about it?”
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Jackson – who’s owed $22 million across the next two seasons – said he hasn’t spoken with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein or GM Jed Hoyer about his future.
“Nobody’s talked to me,” Jackson said. “I’m sure if I find out something, it will be the day something’s going to go down. So we’ll probably all find out the same day if something happens.”
Jackson looked sharp against a dangerous Dodgers lineup, working around some trouble and allowing only two runs on seven hits while walking none and getting six strikeouts. He didn’t look like a pitcher with a 6-11 record and a 5.66 ERA.
But something will have to give if the Cubs want to give Felix Doubront and Dan Straily extended looks in the rotation after trading for those change-of-scenery guys in deals with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s.
“I don’t know that effects Edwin,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Right now, getting those guys back on track, first and foremost, is the most important thing. We’ll deal with that bridge again once we cross it. I haven’t put very much thought into that.”
The Cubs aren’t necessarily done dealing and will keep an open mind during the waiver period.
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“We’ve already started work on that,” Hoyer said minutes after the July 31 deadline passed. “It’s always a part of it. I don’t know what’s going to happen in August, but certainly we’ll be prepared and potentially active.”
Whatever happens, Jackson will be the same guy because he’s already been traded six times and has pitched for eight teams. It still looked like he needed an outing like that.
“It’s more for the team than myself,” Jackson said. “You try to look beyond the personal. You try to be a team player (when) the bullpen’s been getting taxed.
“It’s a funny game. The days you don’t feel as great, you come out and you have better results pitching. The days you feel great, you go out and it’s just the opposite. But you definitely take it in stride and you continue to work hard, continue to build off everything.”