Free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson has found a new home, agreeing to terms with the Chicago Cubs. As is the Cubs’ practice, the 29-year-old right-hander did not receive no-trade protection in his four-year, $52 million deal.
The Cubs will be the eighth major league team for which Jackson has played, in a career that began with the Dodgers in 2003.
Like many baseball writers, ESPN’s Jayson Stark has been thinking and commenting about the signing and specifically, Jackson’s well-traveled status.
On Friday, Stark tweeted this related item:
Only one club of the 23 different franchises to have employed any of these five pitchers is the BINGO winner by having been the one-time home of all five – the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pitchers to have started at least one game in 2012 and to play for eight or more teams
|Jackson (8)||Batista (11)||Wells (9)||Marquis (8)||Moyer (8)|
|Tampa Bay||Kansas City|
|BINGO||St. Louis (2011)||St. Louis (2011)||St. Louis (2007)||St. Louis (2004-06)||St. Louis (1991)|
The now-50-year-old Moyer was the first of the group to wear the Birds on the Bat. At the tender age of 28, the left-hander made seven starts and one relief appearance for the 1991 Cardinals, going 0-5 with a 5.74 ERA. St. Louis was his third MLB club, releasing him at the end of that lone season.
Jason Marquis was a part of the December 2003 J.D. Drew trade with Atlanta that also fetched the Cardinals Adam Wainwright. After three seasons with the Cards, Marquis became a free agent and departed for the Cubs. Now 34, Marquis recently signed a one-year deal to return to San Diego for 2013.
In need of rotation help following the departures of Marquis, Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver plus Mark Mulder’s surgery after the 2006 season, the defending World Champion Cardinals signed Kip Wells. In 2007, the righty made 26 starts and eight relief appearances, going 7-17 with a 5.70 ERA for the only Cardinals club to post a sub-.500 record since the calendar flipped over to 2000. After two years away from the majors, Wells was given seven starts for the 2012 Padres. He is again a free agent.
Batista was a more recent member of the Cardinals, having been signed at the age of 40 to pitch out of the 2011 bullpen. The right-hander even made one spot start to go with 25 relief appearances, but was released that June with a 4.60 ERA. The move created an opening for then-rookie Lance Lynn. Since leaving St. Louis, Batista has pitched for the Mets and Braves, but is currently a free agent.
About six weeks later, Jackson joined the Cardinals in the Colby Rasmus trade with Toronto and the White Sox. As part of the three-way swap, Jackson originated from Chicago. After helping the Cards win the 2011 World Series, Jackson departed as a free agent. Unable to find a multi-year deal to his liking, he settled for a one-year contract with Washington in 2012 before becoming the newest Cub for 2013.
With the improvement in the farm system and specifically the pitching pipeline, one can hope the days of the Cardinals adding the likes of Wells for the rotation and Batista for the pen are past.