I think George Carlin said it best:
“I’ve never ****** a 10, but one night I ****** 5 twos”
Which, you know, might be the perfect way to describe the Cubs 2013 rotation. The Cubs have handed out contracts to Edwin Jackson (4yrs, 52MM) and Carlos Villanueva (2yrs, 10MM), rounding out a rotation of not great but not quite awful starters.
MLB Depth Charts projects the starting 5 to be:
Which makes all sorts of sense given the talent on the roster. Jason Martinez does an awesome job on that site, it’s worth bookmarking.
What is really important to keep in mind is that the Cubs are almost guaranteed to trade Garza at some point this year given the depth of middle rotation guys they’ve put on the roster this off season.
Let’s look at the two most recent acquisitions.
The Villanueva signing generated little reaction to me. It’s 5MM a year for a 5 starter that may or may not survive a full transition from RP to SP. In the context of all the recent signing and player acquisitions, Scott Feldman, Hector Rondon, Scott Baker, it makes sense to have insurance policies for the insurance policies.
Injuries are a fact of life for pitchers, and someone has to log the innings in 2013 even if they’re empty innings.
For that reason tossing low dollars at Villanueva makes a lot of sense to me and I’m on board with trying all sorts of stuff and seeing what sticks.
Which brings us to the Edwin Jackson deal.
Jackson is a frustrating player. There are genuine stretches of dominance and brilliance where the stuff and results all come together and it just makes you go, “Ahhh, that’s why teams keep taking a chance on him.” And then he’ll lose the strike zone or he’ll get pounded and it just makes you go, “Ahh, that’s why teams keep giving up on him.”
I’ve been told, repeatedly, by people much smarter than I am that Jackson’s deal is market value and it’s a smart deal and he’s really an underrated pitcher.
@mrubio52 Yeah but he was an above average pitcher even so. And remains one. BB/9 under 3 in the last two years.
— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) December 20, 2012
This entire convo is a good look at how I was convinced actually. Craig is another good follow.
Which when removed from the initial “Damn it’s Edwin Jackson” reaction it makes some sense. I’m not really throwing out the rose petals for the guy, but I’m not really mad or confused about the deal anymore.
Edwin Jackson is a guy that you just close your eyes during the season and look at the final results.
So long as you don’t sweat the small stuff, it’ll all be fine in the end.