A few things have happened in the last week or so in the world of Chicago Cubs baseball: Ian Stewart re-signed with the Cubs after injuring his wrist last season, Anibal Sanchez did not sign with Chicago, but returned to Detroit instead, and it appears that the North-Siders are finalists with the Texas Rangers for the services of starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. As for Stewart, I love this move by the front office. He’s got a solid glove at third base, can swing the bat and already has a place with this team since he was in a Cubs uniform for 55 games this season before injuring his wrist in June.
I feel that this is a solid, low-risk move by the organization. Stewart is just 27, turning 28 at the beginning of the season, and has at least part of six major league seasons under his belt. He is a career .232 hitter with an OBP of .319, and although these are by no means superstar numbers, they are far better numbers than other in-house options at third base. Even though Stewart missed most of the 2012 season with a wrist injury, he is expected to be healthy by the start of the 2013 season, and I, for one, am excited to see this guy back out on the field in a Cubs uniform.
Now, as for the Anibal Sanchez deal, I hate that this happened to our organization because it makes me lose trust in breaking news reports coming from Cubs sources that deals are done. I mean seriously? This is the second time this offseason something like this happened to the Cubs, the first being the Dan Haren–Carlos Marmol debacle. But who knows, it could end up being a good thing this deal fell through. It may just be my opinion, but I think that five years/ $80 million is too much money to give a guy who has a career losing record, especially since we are trying to rebuild and develop the young starters we have in the minors.
Another starting-rotation option for the Cubs is Edwin Jackson, who I do not feel good about. The Cubs would likely be giving way too much money to an incredibly average pitcher. Jackson has a career record of 70-71 with an ERA of 4.40, while pitching for seven different teams in his 10-year career. He may be young, just 29 years old, but he is not the kind of quality arm you build a pitching staff around, and the Cubs would have to give him a four-year deal to get him to the North Side. No thank you. This is one deal I would not care to see get done for the Cubbies. We need to rebuild the right way, and signing Jackson would be a step in the wrong direction.