In a move that has many Chicago Cubs fans saying “It’s about time”, former starting pitcher-turned rarely used bullpen arm Edwin Jackson has been designated for assignment by the club to make room for Rafael Soriano on the big league roster.
Soriano, 35, hasn’t pitched in a Major League contest since the playoffs in 2014 for the Washington Nationals. He’s been putting in some work for what was expected to be an inevitable call-up to the Majors due to a rash of injuries plaguing the Cubs bullpen sporadically throughout their 2015 campaign. He made stepson both Tennessee (Double-A) and Iowa (Triple-A) to work out what little rust there may have been coming into his signing with the Cubs less than two months ago. He appeared in seven games total, logging seven innings while only giving up four hits and one run. He allowed no runs and tallied seven strike outs.
Jackson, 31, is a different story all together. He signed with the Cubs in 2013, coming off a modest 10-11 (4.03 ERA) season for the Nationals where he did have a respectable 3:1 strike out to walk ratio. But things went south quickly for this journeyman starter looking to finally make a home with a team that had just given him a multi-year deal, giving him as much as $13 million a season and no less than $11 million. After two atrocious seasons in the starting rotation, he was sent to the bullpen for the 2015 season as the Cubs’ brass couldn’t find any takers for Jackson, mostly because of his exceptionally disproportionate contract. He was 14-33 in his first two seasons with the Cubs and in 316 innings worked in that time he allowed 365 hits and and 215 runs.
Needless to say, Cubs fans from all over have been looking forward to the day that Edwin Jackson leaves the Major League roster. Soriano should be a good replacement for now but in the long run is merely a stop gap. Rumors are still bounding about as the MLB trade deadline is now less than two weeks away. Chicago’s North-siders have been mentioned in many rumors in regards to their need for an upgraded pitching staff but nothing substantial has yet come along however talks will certainly continue until the July 31 deadline.
The Cubs have been holding their breath for a while on the relief issues and although this move doesn’t solve every question, at least now they can manage to relax and let a little air out.