According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cubs rejected a trade offer that would have sent right-hander Edwin Jackson to the Braves for outfielder B.J. Upton. They were teammates while with the Rays a few years ago. The two sides discussed the deal before the trade deadline in July.
A Jackson-for-Upton swap would be the epitome of a bad contract-for-bad contract deal. Jackson is owed approximately $24 million through the 2016 season while Upton has roughly $49 million left on his deal, which runs through 2017. Nightengale says Atlanta would have had to kick in quite a bit of money to facilitate a trade.
Jackson, 30, is 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA in 26 starts and 139 innings for the Cubs this year. He is 14-32 with a 5.47 ERA since signing a four-year, $52 million contract prior to last season. Jackson was just placed on the disabled list with a lat strain and there's been talk of moving him to the bullpen.
The 30-year-old Upton is hitting .208/.282/.329 (71 OPS+) with nine home runs and 18 stolen bases this year, which is better than the .184/.268/.289 (54 OPS+) line he put up last season. The Braves gave Upton a five-year, $72.25 million contract prior to 2013.
It's no surprise these two clubs are looking to move their bad contracts, but Jackson-for-Upton wouldn't make much sense for the Cubs, who have a ton of position player prospects on the way. They don't need someone like Upton clogging up payroll and a lineup spot.