MESA, Ariz. -- After years of searching, former Shaw High standout Edwin Jackson finally has found a home.
With a four-year, $52 million deal under his belt, Jackson knows where he should be for a while after bouncing from team to team in the first 10 years of his career.
"I know I've been moving around, but I don't have a bad rap," he said. "It's not because I've been a nuisance in the clubhouse. It's not because I've had any altercations or any off-the-field incidents. Half of the time (I'm moved) to a contender, to a team that's competing to
get further. I really don't worry about the things I can't control. As long as I know there's no a bad rap behind me, I'm definitely not worried."
Jackson threw two scoreless innings in his Cubs debut Tuesday in a 4-2 victory over the Rockies.
Jackson is 70-71 for his career with a 4.40 earned-run average. His durability made him a valuable asset in the free-agent market despite those so-so career numbers.
"When you're a starting pitcher and put up 200 innings and a 3.8 earned-run average, you're going to make a lot of money, no matter if it's long term or a one-year (deal)," manager Dale Sveum said. "We're expecting him to be what he is and who he has been. No more, no less."
The Cubs are Jackson's eighth stop. Did any of his previous teams try to lock him up?
"Somewhat, yeah," he said. "But it wasn't necessarily the right situation for me at the time, or it wasn't necessarily what I was looking for."
Sveum said Jackson's travels are the nature of modern baseball, not because teams didn't value his talent.
"It's not because of anything," he said. "He was put in a position where he didn't sign a long-term contract, so he was basically trade bait all those times. That's unfortunate, or fortunate for some people, depending on what happens.
"He got traded once (from the White Sox to the Cardinals) and won the World Series. That's one of those things where (teams say), 'We can't sign a guy, so we'll use him to trade.' That's just part of the business."