Edwin Jackson did not do well in his time with the Chicago Cubs. Signed to a four-year, $52 million contract before the 2013 season, he had a bad year, followed by a worse year, followed by his unconditional release by the Cubs midway through the 2015 season.
He’s pitched for three big-league teams since then and soon will add a fourth, the Baltimore Orioles:
Jackson, 33, was signed to a minor league contract April 5 and has been pitching for Triple-A Norfolk since early May. He has a 3.10 ERA over 12 appearances spanning 20 1/3 innings, pitching mainly in relief.
Jackson initially had an opt-out in his minor league contract that he could exercise Thursday, but he agreed to extend his stay at Norfolk. Starting Monday at 11:59 p.m., he had 24 hours to exercise his opt-out and then the Orioles had 48 hours after that to either add him to their 25-man major league roster or release him from his contract, allowing him to become a free agent.
The club is expected to add Jackson to its 25-man roster before tonight's game.
Jackson threw reasonably well in relief in 2015 for the Braves after the Cubs let him go (2.92 ERA, 0.932 WHIP in 24 appearances), but was pretty bad for the Padres and Marlins last year (5.89 ERA, 1.583 WHIP, 14 home runs in 84 innings).
To be fair, Jackson never made excuses, always was accountable and worked hard to improve while with the Cubs. It just didn’t work out and Theo Epstein called the signing “a mistake.”
The Orioles will be Jackson’s 12th major-league team. The other 11, in order: Dodgers, Devil Rays/Rays (all three years pitching for Joe Maddon), Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres. That’s one short of the major-league record set by Octavio Dotel, who managed to pitch for 13 teams without ever putting on a Cubs uniform: Mets, Astros, Athletics, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Tigers.
Jackson has pitched against the Cubs twice since he departed, oddly enough, on the same calendar date in consecutive seasons: August 22, 2015 while with the Braves and August 22, 2016 while with the Padres. Cubs hitters hit him hard: nine hits, seven runs and five home runs in 6⅓ total innings (homers by Jorge Soler, Miguel Montero, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward).
If Jackson can stick in Baltimore long enough, Cubs batters might have a chance to do that again. The Cubs play the Orioles in Baltimore July 14-15-16. Warm up those bats!