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Jackson happy for rotation mate Samardzija


MESA, Ariz. -- Edwin Jackson had been mentioned as a possible Opening Day option for the Cubs after signing a four-year, $52 million contract, but manager Dale Sveum tabbed Jeff Samardzija. That's OK with Jackson.

"He's a great pitcher and I'm happy for him," Jackson said of Samardzija. "He's the face of the organization and he deserves it. ... At the end of the day, we all want to win. He wants to win, I want to win and every other pitcher wants to win. Whoever gets the Opening Day start, we're happy for each other, and we're just ready for whoever has Opening Day to start the ball rolling in a positive direction for everyone else to feed off of."

Does that mean Jackson could be No. 2 in the rotation?

"Everyone has to be No. 1 on their day -- that's my favorite quote," Jackson said. "Everyone has to be the ace on the day they're pitching."

OK, Jackson may be second in terms of sequence, and could follow Samardzija. It won't be Matt Garza, who remains sidelined with a strained lat.

"We'd definitely rather [Garza] in September when we're coming down the stretch and hopefully making the playoff push," Jackson said. "It's always tough when you're on the other side of it, it's always easier to say, 'Be patient' when you don't have to go through it.

"He'll be fine," Jackson said. "Right now, I'm sure he's anxious, but we'd all be anxious. If I was down, I'd be anxious to get out, too. You have to look for the future and take a deep breath and realize we'd rather have him playing later in the season."

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