Cubs starting rotation: Hendricks in, Wood or Jackson out?

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MESA, Ariz. – Is it possible the Cubs have too much pitching?

Yeah, right.

What they do have is a logjam of big-league experience battling for only one spot in the starting rotation – including a pair of one-time All-Stars making nearly $17 million between them.

“The competition around here is unbelievable on so many different levels,” manager Joe Maddon said, after confirming that second-year Kyle Hendricks has a starting job locked down, joining Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel in the rotation.

Maddon also made official the obvious on Monday: that the $155 million Lester is the Cubs’ Opening Night starter.

Left-hander Travis Wood, a 2013 All-Star, is expected to win the fifth starter job, barring a trade, injury or out-of-whack spring. But $11 million Edwin Jackson is still around and said to be throwing well in camp.

“It’s going to be an interesting spring,” Maddon said.

Jacob Turner, Felix Doubront and Tsuyoshi Wada also are all in the mix.

The competition opens Thursday, when the Cubs open the season with a split-squad pair of games against Oakland (Wood starting) and San Francisco (Turner).

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