Cubs release Edwin Jackson, eat $15 million left on contract

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Edwin Jackson is officially a free agent, as the Cubs released the veteran right-hander after designating him for assignment last week.

That means Chicago is on the hook for the remaining $15 million or so on Jackson’s four-year, $52 million contract and he’s now able to sign with any team for whatever he can get.

Jackson was terrible as a starter for the Cubs in 2013 and 2014, combining to go 14-33 with a 5.58 ERA, but he was reasonably effective as a reliever this season with a 3.19 ERA and 23/12 K/BB ratio in 31 innings. At age 31 expect him to latch on somewhere as a fifth starter or middle reliever.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.