MESA, Ariz. - If Edwin Jackson ever had trouble making new friends or adjusting to new places that issue faded away a long time ago.
And long before playing for seven teams in eight years before signing that four-year deal with the Cubs over the winter.
``I'm a military brat. I'm kind of born on the fly,'' said the right-hander, who makes his first start for the Cubs Tuesday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies at HoHoKam Park.
``I've been living out of a suitcase for a long time. I never have a chance to get bored with a city, I look at it that way.''
And if his $52-million contract finally affords that chance with the Cubs, at least it's Chicago, a place he enjoyed while pitching for the White Sox in 2010-11.
``Having some stability is definitely a positive for me,'' he said, ``to get to be around a group of guys for multiple years.''
Jackson, 29, was signed to be a linchpin for the pitching staff as the team transitions toward contender status - over the next three years, according to the front office's anticipated timeline.
His long-term status assures, barring injuries, at least two starters the Cubs believe they can count on going into next year, along with Jeff Samardzija, as they watch for what might develop in the system, evaluate Scott Baker's return from Tommy John surgery and see what's available next off-season.
``He's been great,'' manager Dale Sveum said of the right-hander through three weeks of camp. ``He's got that personality and work ethic and professionalism, and teammates like him, obviously, already.
``He's one of them guys that just breeds what we're trying to do here: bring character in and great people and obviously guys that can produce as well. That's all going great, so we'll see what happens.''