Ink dries on Chicago Cubs deal with Edwin Jackson

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The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson have agreed to terms on a four-year contract.  A Cubs source said that the deal is for $52 million; including an $8 million signing bonus with annual salaries of $11 million per year.

Jackson, 29, has pitched all or part of the last 10 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2003-05), Tampa Bay (2006-08), Detroit (2009), Arizona (2010), the White Sox (2010-11), St. Louis (2011) and Washington (2012).  He has reached 31 or more starts in each of his last six seasons, has recorded double digits in wins in each of the last five seasons and has exceeded 180.0 innings pitched in each of the last five years, including three-straight seasons of 199.2 innings or more from 2009-11.

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The Chicago Cubs Brass is on the California Grass … Golf Grass!!

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A bunch of the boys are whoopin’ it up in the desert made famous by Frank and his friends. A rollicking happy place where the scotch flows and the golf courses never end. A land of breathtaking mornings and gorgeous nights. A world where the stars shine brighter than spotlights.

And finally, and most impactful for many … a town where the women are so eager because most of the other men are “gay, gray or leaving on Tuesday.”

Yes, welcome to the California desert. It’s nice to be there.

Oh, wait. They went to Palm Springs to talk about baseball. Riiiigggghhhhttt.

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World Series to Determine Fair Value for Albert Pujols, Stl. Cardinals?

Shaun Marcum and Edwin Jackson struggled in their starts on Sunday night in the 2011 National League Championship Series. That was no surprise considering their previous track records. The eighteen total runs scored made the over betters elated in Las Vegas. Albert Pujols had a home run and two runs batted in for the Cardinals.

Pujols has an average of over four hundred in the postseason with an on base percentage of over .550. He is widely seen as the top hitter in the National League and is a quality teammate-citizen in the Midwest. His prowess at first base has really improved over the years due to his diligence. There is nothing negative that I can write about the man besides his age. The player on the wrong side of thirty probably has the best years behind him…if he is not taking supplements.

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Will Ozzie Guillen Manage The Florida Marlins? Kenny Williams be fired?

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As the Chicago White Sox continue to let the AL Central slip away, White Sox fans are beginning to demand changes. Both General Manager Kenny Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen are drawing the angst of White Sox Fans. With the Florida Marlins getting set to open a new stadium next season, Ozzie living in Florida in the off-season and his ties to the Marlin’s organization, could Guillen be the fighting fish’s new skipper in 2012? As GM Kenny Williams “All In” plan is obviously failing, will his firing be imminent?

The Sportsbank has an inside look at those questions.

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The Chicago Cubs are NOT GOOD at baseball

Hello, good day, hope you are all doing fantastic. It is Friday, and as well all know, that means it is time for some ramblings. It is time to just throw some thoughts out there, see what sticks, then ask some hopefully intriguing questions and create some debate. That is what we do here, so let’s get it on. The trade deadline is Sunday, and a certain third baseman might be changing his tune.

So, without further ado …

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White Sox Fire Sale? Edwin Jackson traded to Blue Jays, Danks and Floyd on Trading Block

Earlier today, the White Sox traded pitcher Edwin Jackson and utility man Mark Teahen to the Blue Jays for reliever Jason Frasor and minor-league pitching prospect Zach Stewart. Jackson may not even have time to put a Jays cap on as he is expected to be traded to the Cardinals in a deal for CF Colby Rasmus. Rasmus was recently the center of trade rumors with the White Sox in a deal for Carlos Quentin and Matt Thornton. Jackson was inconsistent in his time with the White Sox but has been solid as of late. He is 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts for the White Sox.

Does this trade indicate White Sox GM Kenny Williams has officially waived the white flag on the 2011 season or is he building on strengths for a stretch run?

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White Sox to Continue Pitching Unconventional Six Man Rotation

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After the sweep over everyone’s preseason champion Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox now have a 9-6 record with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts since employing the six-man rotation. Manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed today that the Sox will stick with the unconventional plan. The White Sox are 18-25 while using a five man rotation.

Maybe this will catch on across the major leagues? Or is this just a fluky nuance like Tony La Russa batting St. Louis Cardinals pitchers eighth? As of now, the Sox will continue to go put Mark Buerhle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Edwin Jackson, Phil Humber and Jake Peavy out there.

But if they do revert back to a traditional five man rotation, who would drop out?

There are three candidates among the six.

By Paul M. Banks

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Chicago White Sox September Call-up Possibilities

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The 2010 MLB trade deadline has passed and while the Chicago White Sox may have landed another diamond(back) in the rough in Edwin Jackson, the August waiver trade process will define whether or not the White Sox get their much coveted left-handed power bat. Even if the Sox don’t make a trade they could get a boost from an often over-looked source: September roster expansion.

For those who don’t follow the Sox farm system closely, this article has you covered, introducing you to names you might hear as Hawk Harrelson’s “pick to click” soon.

By: Soxman

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White Sox Trade Rumors: The latest on Jackson, Dunn, and more

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The 2010 Major League Baseball Trade Deadline is getting down to its final hours and despite other sites predicating that it would come and go quietly, the hot stove has heated up more than Bobby Jenks fastball in the last 48 hours.  Edwin Jackson, Adam Dunn, Roy Oswalt, Scott Podsednik and Adam LaRoche, are just a few of the name floating into the White Sox seas. Here’s your complete summary to date.

By Soxman

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Detroit Tigers in First Place? Really?

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By Paul M. Banks and Adam Musto

After finishing in last place in the American League Central Division in 2008 with a 74-88 record, the Detroit Tigers (28-23) are back in first place.

The last time the Tigers (picked to finish last by numerous “baseball experts”) won the division was 2006, when the team represented the American League in one of the least watched World Series of all-time. That autumn they fell to an 83-79 St. Louis Cardinals team in a Fall Classic best remembered for reliever Joel Zumaya’s pick off throw to third with no one covering the bag, prompting the always insightful and brilliant Tim McCarver to yell this stunning revelation “that was a bad play by Zumaya right there.”  Yep, Tiny Tim McCarver: always pointing out the intricacies and nuances of the game.

Moving on to today, this Tiger team’s success can completely be attributed to pitching. Detroit leads the AL with a 3.90 ERA, seven shutouts and 8/5 hits per nine innings pitched. They have allowed  the fewest hits (417) and runs (216) in the league. joel-zumaya-curtis-granderson-kelly-kelly1

Justin Verlander (6-2) currently is second in MLB with 90 strikeouts, one behind the San Francisco Giant’s Tim Lincecum. Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (5-3) boasts a 2.30 ERA and has allowed 59 hits and 25 runs in 74.1 inninngs pitched with 57 strike outs. Starter Fredrick Alfred “Rick” Porcello III (born December 27, 1988) is a rookie sensation for the Detroit Tigers He is considered by many to be one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. The teenager was drafted #27 overall in the first round of the 2007 Draft. Rick Porcello will soon become a household name with his (6-4) record, 3.70 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 53 innings. Closer Fernando Rodney converted all 10 of his save opportunities into successful saves. Four other pitchers have had save opportunities, but have gone just 1-6. The ancient Todd Jones is no longer the Motor City’s closer and that’s a good thing for them; not good news for the rest of the AL Central.

As a team, Detroit ranks in the middle of all the pack in all the major offensive categories. Their lineup is mediocre but does feature a couple of standouts. First baseman Miguel Cabrera and center fielder Curtis Granderson have paced the Tigers offense. Cabrera is second in the AL batting .358 with 38 RBI, and T.F. North (SICA!) and UIC product Curtis Granderson has 13 homeruns, ranking sixth in the AL. Cabrera has also recorded 67 doubles with a .578 slugging percentage.
Detroit is 0-2 so far in June with consecutive losses to the Boston Red Sox and 4-6 over their last 10. Upcoming is a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following that is five critical games against division rivals: the Chicago White Sox, including a double header on Monday, and the Minnesota Twins, who are both 3.5 games behind Detroit for first place in the division. O far Detroit is the only team in the Central that doesn’t look to be mediocre or worse.  Just two years ago, the AL Central was the toughest and deepest division in baseball, where 90 wins still left you home in October.

This year, it’s the weakest: and 84 wins might just grant you the title. Look for Minnesota and Chicago to be the Tigers main competitors down the stretch for the AL Central Division “crown” in ’09.