Well-traveled Jackson at home with Cubs
MESA, Ariz. -- Edwin Jackson has lived in Germany, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. He's an Army brat, and well traveled. He's also played for the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals and Nationals. He's a big league pitcher who's been on the move.
Sometimes there's a reason players change teams so many times, and not a good one. The Cubs did their homework before signing Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal.
"I know I've moved around," Jackson said, "but I don't have a bad rap sheet on me. It's not because I've been a nuisance in the clubhouse or any altercations or any off-field incidents. Half of the time I've been moving to a team that's competing. ... As long as I know there's not a bad rap sheet behind me, then I'm definitely not worried."
He has gotten other long-term contract offers but said it wasn't the right situation or what he was looking for. Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't think Jackson had any personality quirks that kept him on the move.
"It's not because of really anything," Sveum said. "He was always put in a position where he didn't sign a long-term contract, so he was basically trade bait all those times. That's unfortunate or fortunate for some people, depending on what happens. He got traded once, and got to the World Series and won a World Series."
Jackson made his Cubs debut with two innings against the Rockies on Tuesday. He faced eight batters and gave up two hits. Now that he has a new deal and some stability, don't expect Jackson to relax.
"I feel you can't get too complacent," Jackson said. "It definitely feels good when you know you have a chance to have some stability on a team. But at the same time you can't get too complacent where you relax. You still have to have that edge when you take the field."
The Cubs are happy so far.
"He's got that personality and that work ethic and professionalism that you want," Sveum said. "Teammates like him already. He's one of those guys who breeds what we're trying to do here, bring character in and great people and obviously guys who can produce as well."