Would Edwin Jackson welcome a change of scenery?
It’s a long shot, it’s not up to Jackson and the Cubs pitcher didn’t exactly answer the question. But it had to be asked after Thursday’s 13-3 loss to the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.
A CBS Sports report surfaced before first pitch with a headline that said it all: “Cubs try to trade struggling starter Edwin Jackson, find few takers.”
Jackson then pitched into the sixth inning before leaving the game with what the Cubs called cramping in his right hand. The Padres led 3-1, with no outs and runners on first and second, and it got completely out of hand. A historically bad offense put up nine runs that inning, and when the Cubs finally got the third out, the announced crowd of 31,321 gave mock cheers.
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“It’s just a little frustrating,” Jackson said, “when you go from feeling pretty good, feeling like you can go deep in the game, to all of a sudden you can’t throw a ball for a strike.”
Jackson was charged with five runs, four earned, on seven hits and one walk against the Padres (45-56). That left the $52 million pitcher with a 5-11 record and a 5.68 ERA.
Jackson didn’t appear to be worried about the trade speculation or the injury.
“He started shaking his hand a little bit,” manager Rick Renteria said. “The reality is, any time you start spasms, whether it’s your hand or your forearm, I’m not going to take a chance and allow somebody to throw (with) the spasm, or the cramp, because you’re straining yourself there. The best thing to do at that point was to get him out of there.”
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Moving Jackson off this team will be more difficult, even if the Cubs kicked in and subsidized a frontloaded deal that runs through 2016 and has roughly $26 million remaining. At least as far back as last year’s GM meetings, the Cubs were looking at that as a tradable contract.
“You can’t worry about what you can’t control,” Jackson said. “That’s pretty much been my take on it since the first time that I’ve been traded. I’ve been traded after All-Star years. I’ve been traded after subpar seasons. I’ve been traded after bad seasons. I’ve been traded in the middle of seasons.
“Most of the time when you see people get traded, they go to a playoff-contending team, so all trades aren’t necessarily bad.
“But at the end of the day, you play and you work (for) where you are right then. So in the present time, I’m right here with Chicago, and that’s what I’m focusing on. I’m not really looking too far down the road. Just stay within what we have going on right now.”
Jackson has already been traded six times, pitching for eight different teams. The Cubs (41-59) have already traded away two-fifths of their rotation this summer.
The biggest free agent signed by the Theo Epstein administration knows crazier things have happened.
“Trades are trades,” Jackson said. “You can’t really worry about trades. The only thing you can do is continue to work hard. I feel pretty good right now. It’s just a tough break tonight.”