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Edwin Jackson has signed a one-year contract with the Nationals worth something like $10 million or $11 million. When Jackson signed, there was talk that he had multi-year offers on the table. One of those multi-year offers was said to come from the Orioles, so when Jackson turned them down, everybody was like "oh well of course." But another one of those multi-year offers apparently came from a more appealing destination. Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: #Pirates made 3-yr offer to Edwin Jackson. Also made him 1-yr offer below reported $11M Jackson received from #Nationals
Do not know exact amount of #Pirates' 3-year offer to E. Jackson, but told it was substantial, in range of $10M a year.
It's one thing to say no to the Orioles, since Orioles, but the Pirates? Granted, for a while, the Pirates and the Orioles were basically the same thing, but in 2011 the Pirates showed promise. They showed that they might be on the right track. Jackson turned down three years with them for one year with the Nationals?
Well, yeah. I mean, the Pirates still have a long ways to go. The Nationals might be ready to contend now. And it's not like Jackson assumes he's going to suck or get hurt in 2012, so he can get right back into the market and find eight figures somewhere else. The Pirates have more going for them than they have in the past, but the Nationals have more. Lots more.
Edwin Jackson has been traded a whole bunch of times. Might this in some way help to explain why his market as a free agent was seemingly so slow to develop?
From the estimable Joe Lemire's look at the Edwin Jackson deal, this little tidbit:
Rizzo also said on the conference call that Washington believes Jackson had a flaw in his full wind-up that allowed hitters to see the ball particularly well out of his hand, according to the Washington Post.
Indeed, last year Jackson had an anomalous season in which he was far worse with no one on base (when he'd use the full wind-up) than with runners on (when he'd pitch out of the stretch).
In 2011 Jackson allowed a .339 average, .390 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage with the bases empty, effectively turning every hitter into someone slightly better than Texas' MVP candidate Michael Young (whose batting line last year was .338/.380/.474).
With at least one runner on base, however, Jackson shut down opponents, allowing a meager .239/.292/.373 batting line, effectively turning hitters into someone slightly worse than A's catcher Kurt Suzuki (.237/.301/.385).
It's always odd when some team thinks they've spotted something that none of the other teams were able to spot. But these things do happen sometimes. And considering that Jackson's performance has never quite matched his supposed potential, maybe this "flaw" is what convinced the Nationals to spend an extra $5 million for what looks like a fairly minor upgrade over John Lannan (assuming that he's traded).
Let's remember to keep an eye on Jackson's splits this season, but I will note in passing that Jackson's splits were perfectly normal in 2010; also, doesn't Scott Boras pay people good money to notice stuff like this?
My guess is that Jackson's flaw is mostly in Mike Rizzo's head. But maybe Edwin Jackson corrects his flaw and suddenly becomes a Cy Young candidate. Odder things have happened.
To my knowledge, Edwin Jackson hasn't passed his physical yet. So, to my knowledge, Edwin Jackson isn't yet officially a member of the Washington Nationals. But general manager Mike Rizzo didn't let that pesky little detail stop him from talking about the Jackson move with the media.
We turn to Nationals blog Federal Baseball. There's a lot in there, but here's one excerpt:
A big reason the Nationals felt the signing made sense, the GM explained, was, "... not only that [Jackson]'s a young talented pitcher that's had success in the past. You look at the other parts of our rotation where Jordan Zimmermann is coming off a 160-inning season, has never pitched 200.0 innings in the big leagues. Chien-Ming Wang [is] coming off a couple years of inactivity and hasn't really stretched his arm out for a long period of time...We felt that we had an innings-shortage and if you do the research, out of the eight playoff teams last year, six of those eight teams had two 200+ innings pitchers on the team and we felt that we had an innings-shortage and this not only fixes the innings-shortage, it also gives us a quality standard that we feel can compete with any team in the division."going to be on some sort of pitch limit.
Strasburg's awesome, but he's young and coming off injury. Wang is forever coming off injury. Zimmermann has an injury history, too, and while Gio Gonzalez has consecutive seasons of 200+ innings, he's one man, and he's also just 26.
Enter Jackson. A lot of people are familiar with the quality of Edwin Jackson's stuff. It's that familiarity that makes a lot of people think of Edwin Jackson as a disappointment. What fewer people might realize is that Jackson has a track record of durability. He hasn't been on the DL since 2004. He's made at least 31 starts in five consecutive seasons. Over the last three seasons, he's thrown 623 innings, plus another handful in the playoffs.
Everybody knows that Jackson's a power pitcher. Fewer people know that Jackson's been a steady pitcher. Pitchers are kind of unpredictable so you can't just assume that Jackson will stay healthy going forward, but the history is suggestive. Jackson's a good candidate to fill a hole the Nationals wanted to fill.
On Thursday, the Washington Nationals signed Edwin Jackson to a one-year contract. They haven't actually signed Edwin Jackson to a one-year contract - Jackson still has to pass a physical - but that didn't stop the team from announcing the move, which is going to be really awkward if it turns out that Jackson is broken or dead. The Nationals are supremely confident that Jackson will pass the exam just fine.
So, what now? What does this mean? Why do this? At FanGraphs, Carson Cistulli tackles the subject and raises concerns:
It’s possible that the Jackson signing represents an attempt on the part of Washington simply to not be mediocre. Or to be less mediocre. That’s a possible, if entirely uninspiring, explanation for the deal — because there’s value in being "just fine." Furthermore, it’s possible that the Nationals see value in Jackson as a player either to flip for a decent prospect at the deadline, or from whom to gain a compensation pick in the 2013 draft after Jackson becomes a Type B free agent when the season is over.
For the Nationals to become actual contenders, though, at least one of the following three names will have to appear in fewer of manager Davey Johnson‘s lineups than is projected: Roger Bernadina, Ian Desmond, and Adam LaRoche.
Cistulli's right about the fact that, even with Jackson, the Nationals can't be thought of as NL East favorites. The Phillies are really good. The Braves are really good. The Marlins could be really good. The Mets are there. The Nationals are trying to make up ground.
But he might overstate his position, because, ultimately, Jackson's an upgrade, and the Nationals are in the market for upgrades. Upgrades allow the Nationals to move closer to contention. The Nationals are better with Jackson than without him, and Jackson isn't costing them too much, so this is a neat move that improves the team's chances of seeing the playoffs.
Sure, the Nationals have other outstanding issues. Cistulli mentions some of them. The Nationals are not a perfect or even necessarily complete ballclub. But the Nationals are close to being in the playoff hunt. Right? Edwin Jackson makes the Nationals better. Right? Jackson isn't coming at an exorbitant cost. Right?
The Nationals got better on Thursday. That makes it a good Thursday for a Nationals team with big dreams.
With the Washington Nationals adding Edwin Jackson to a rotation that already included Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nats are looking an awful lot like contenders.
The Nationals have too many starting pitchers. Who will have to make room?
We're moving beyond the "reportedly" stage - Edwin Jackson to the Washington Nationals looks to be a done deal, save for that whole physical thing. Reports earlier Thursday morning said the Nationals were looking to sign Jackson to a one-year contract. Did they succeed?
They have apparently succeeded. Amanda Comak:
Source confirms: The #nationals have agreed to terms with Edwin Jackson on a one-year deal pending physical. He's in town today for it.
jackson is a 1 year deal, believed to be in $8-to-12M range.
Ken Rosenthal later narrowed it down to the $10 million range. So the Washington Nationals are signing Edwin Jackson for one year and something in the neighborhood of $10 million.
It looks like a pillow contract to me. Does it look like a pillow contract to you? Jackson will be set to re-test the market next fall. He'll pitch for a potential contender in the National League in a pitcher-not-unfriendly ballpark. And he'll make some money. This is good for him, and this is good for the Nationals, who should get some kind of upgrade on John Lannan. The Nationals are in a position now where every individual win matters.
Jackson came into the offseason looking to strike it rich. He didn't strike it rich, although, by a normal person's standards, he actually did strike it very rich. He's found a good landing spot, though, and it isn't with the Orioles, so all things considered, this worked out fairly well.
Earlier Thursday, we heard reports that the Washington Nationals were trying to give away John Lannan to clear space for free agent Edwin Jackson. It was reminiscent of those reports that the St. Louis Cardinals were trying to deal Kyle McClellan to clear space for free agent Roy Oswalt. Neither Lannan nor McClellan has yet been traded. But apparently the Nationals have decided to make things messy and worry about the clean-up later on.
edwin jackson in agreement with #nationals on deal. (he was seen in airport for physical)
There's no word yet on the terms. Jackson's deal is pending a physical. But it looks like Jackson is headed for the nation's capital, since Heyman usually isn't wrong about these things. Especially when these things involve Scott Boras clients.
The last three years, Jackson's posted a 3.96 ERA over 96 starts. That's an ERA figure eight percent better than the league average. He has excellent stuff, although he doesn't always pitch up to it, and if everything goes smoothly, he'll join Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann in what's becoming a heck of a rotation. There are also other guys - including, at present, John Lannan! - but they're much worse so we won't talk about them right now.
Rule 1a of the offseason: There's always a mystery team. And in case you haven't noticed, the mystery team is often the team that gets their man. The two top free agents of the offseason were nabbed by the mystery team, for example. And the mystery team is at it again, this time in Washington D.C.:
The (Washington Nationals are) aggressively shopping left-hander John Lannan, according to major-league sources. Trading Lannan would clear payroll, potentially enabling the Nats to sign one of the top remaining free-agent right-handers, either Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson.
Rosenthal later clarified the story, suggesting that it's Jackson that the Nationals are targeting. The Nationals just won their arbitration case over Lannan, and he'll make $5 million next year. The lefty had a 3.70 ERA last year (104 ERA+), and he's been a fairly consistent innings muncher since becoming a full-time rotation member in 2008.
Acquiring Jackson, though, could give the Nationals four highly regarded starting pitchers younger than 30, and depending on the length of an Edwin Jackson contract, they'd all be locked up for the next two or three years. Of course, the same would apply if they kept Lannan, but perhaps the Nationals think that Jackson offers more upside.
It's not a big secret that the Boston Red Sox have been in search of another starting pitcher. Recently they've been linked to both Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson. But Oswalt, for his part, doesn't seem particularly thrilled with the idea of pitching in Massachusetts, and now, according to Gordon Edes, the Red Sox might be out on Jackson:
The Boston Red Sox have made an offer but are "most likely out of the picture" for Edwin Jackson, the top starting pitcher remaining on the free-agent market, because there are better deals on the table from other clubs, according to a baseball source.
The Red Sox are reported to have offered Jackson a one-year contract worth $5 million - $6 million. Jackson is worth more than a one-year contract worth $5 million - $6 million. Jackson is represented by Scott Boras, so you can figure that Jackson is well aware that he's worth more than a one-year contract worth $5 million - $6 million.
A couple things, though. For one, it was Edes who, last Friday, reported that Roy Oswalt was going to St. Louis. Oswalt hasn't gone to St. Louis, as far as anybody knows, so you have to wonder. Not that I think Gordon Edes is just making things up, but I do wonder about his individual sources.
For two, wasn't it just the other day that we were reading about Edwin Jackson maybe signing a one-year contract and re-testing the market next fall? He claims to have been offered multiple multi-year deals, but what if all of those deals have come from the Orioles? Would Edwin Jackson really want to sign with the Orioles? The Red Sox would provide an excellent chance of going deep in the playoffs.
It's hard to get a clear picture of Jackson's current market. It would be surprising if he settled for the Red Sox's latest offer. But it wouldn't be insane, and it also wouldn't be surprising if the Red Sox upped their offer a little bit as more time passes. The Red Sox are well aware of what Jackson could do. Maybe in retrospect they shouldn't have signed Cody Ross, but I have to imagine they could scrape together a little more cash.
The Red Sox probably aren't the favorites for Edwin Jackson. Personally, though, I think they're very much still in the mix.
Earlier today, Jeff Sullivan wrote about Edwin Jackson's continuing search for a contending team willing to sign him to a long-term contract. A search that doesn't seem to be going real well. Nick Cafardo:
Lots of buzz out there about the possibility that free-agent righty Edwin Jackson may accept a one-year deal with a contender to improve his value and go back into the free-agent market next season.
Boston, which has offered a one-year deal in the $5-$6 million range according to major league sources, is definitely in the hunt. But if they're the contending team that's going to land him, it hasn't happened yet.
He's 28 years old and has No. 1 caliber stuff and can give you close to 200 innings, which is a need for the Red Sox. But while having No. 1 stuff, he's pitched more like a middle-rotation starter throughout his career.
I'm not sure how relevant his No. 1 caliber stuff is, without No. 1 caliber performance. Except there's always a pitching coach who thinks he can fix a guy. Except he usually can't.
Jackson did take a step forward in 2009, but even since then his strikeout-to-walk ratio is just 2.33, which would be real good for an extreme ground-ball pitcher but Jackson still gives up roughly one home run every nine innings. He's a good pitcher and pitchers are weird so maybe he'll be great someday. But probably not.
Still, Edwin Jackson's better than "the $5-$6 million range" and the Red Sox know that as well as anyone. He's been worth (roughly) three times that much in each of the last three seasons. If the Sox are really offering Jackson that pittance, they're either reading the market really well or are just fishing on a strict budget.
And if Jackson gets a penny less than $10 million to pitch this year, somebody on his side is doing it wrong.
It was recently reported that Edwin Jackson had a few multi-year contract offers. "Finally," one thought, "the market for Edwin Jackson is heating up. It's about damn time."
About those multi-year contract offers, though - Jackson might not take one of them. From Dan Connolly:
Accdg to source, Edwin Jackson much more likely to sign 1yr deal than multiyr & clubs r being told that. Not good news for #Orioles
The term that's been thrown around is "pillow contract." Jackson could sign a one-year contract for a soft landing before trying the market again next fall. Maybe next fall, there's more interest. Maybe next fall, there's more money.
One can ask how much Jackson stands to gain. He's started at least 31 games five years in a row. He's coming off a 3.79 ERA. It's hard to imagine that Jackson's performance will improve substantially in 2012, and so it's hard to imagine that Jackson will be more valuable in a year than he is now. But if the market now is weak, and if the market a year from now could be stronger, then that's a consideration. Also a consideration is, who would want to sign with the Orioles?
Jackson's been linked to the Red Sox, who supposedly prefer him over Roy Oswalt. One the one hand, Boston wouldn't exactly be a soft landing for Jackson, what with the ballpark and the division. On the other hand, Boston would offer an excellent chance of going deep in the playoffs, and maybe Jackson could improve his postseason resume.
Boston isn't the only team who would have interest in Jackson on a one-year deal, of course. On a one-year deal, Jackson would make sense for pretty much everybody.
We'll see where this goes. I remember speculation that Prince Fielder would sign a one-year pillow contract, and then he got $214 million. Fielder is represented by Scott Boras, and Jackson is represented by Scott Boras. Boras might still pull $60 million or $70 million out of his bag of tricks. Jackson's a lot more likely to sign for a year than Fielder ever was, though, and Jackson for one year would probably be a pretty good value.
Sources: E. Jackson has multiple three-year offers. Also could take one-year deal, go back on market next off-season.
Hamels, Greinke likely at top of 2012-13 FA class if #SFGiants extend Cain. Jackson, 28, could further enhance value with strong year.
Thus, Rosenthal appears to agree with Baseball Nation’s Marc Normandin, who suggested just yesterday that Jackson might be better off taking a one-year deal:
Rather than spend the next four years in Baltimore, a team more desperate for Jackson than Jackson is desperate for work, he can afford to sign with the Red Sox or Cardinals on a one-year deal, given the newly-opened rotation spots that will be there for him come 2013. There will be competition for those gigs, but they will also be plentiful. Scott Boras knows what he’s doing if Jackson shoots down a larger offer for a one-year stay of free agency.
Spring training begins in less than four weeks; whatever decision Jackson makes, it is likely to come soon.
Edwin Jackson has his pick of one-year deals in a winter that was supposed to be about him.
Roy Oswalt on a one-year deal is like a cheesecake with the nutritional benefits of spinach. People should be fighting over this sort of thing. Also, the cheesecake has a screwy back. But a one-year deal, people. That is so, so devoid of risk. Last year at this time, we were talking about the Phillies acing the aciest bunch of aces that ever aced. One of them is a free agent now, and he wants a one-year deal. Where's the line?
Red Sox have made offers for Edwin Jackson and are presently in discussions with him and prefer him over Roy Oswalt according to source
The better pitcher for next year? Flip a coin. The better pitcher for 2014? Almost certainly Jackson, so if the Red Sox are thinking this is an opportunity to buy low on him, it makes sense.
Here's a fearless (if not stupid) prediction: The Red Sox get both. One second the Yankees were futzing around with A.J. Burnett, and the next they had Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda. This wouldn't be a perfectly comparable one-two strike for the Red Sox, but it would do a lot to ease some worried minds.
And it would mean the Marco Scutaro stuff would make a lot more sense. But absent that wild conjecture, what it looks like now is that Jackson is in the lead. And he's a Scott Boras client! John Lackey's contract will probably look like a minor-league invite when this is all finished.
The Yankees acquired 40 percent of a contending rotation on their last trip to Costco. Do the Red Sox have to make a move now?
The Yankees did quite well with a collection of question marks and retreads last year. They're not going to try to do it again.
Perhaps that will change soon. Jon Heyman reports that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner met with Jackson’s agent Scott Boras in Phoenix, where owners are having meetings this week:
Yankees people seem to like Jackson but want to keep deals short because one of their greatest goals is to somehow get their payroll below the luxury tax threshold of $189 million by 2014. That isn’t going to be easy for a team that’s had a payroll in the $200-million range for years and is committed to $125 million for 10 players in ’14, but the reward is that their tax would go from 50 percent on dollars above the cap to a much more manageable 17 percent.
Heyman says the Orioles and Blue Jays are also interested in Jackson, who is just 28, and hasn’t been injured since becoming a regular rotation starter in 2007. He might be of particular use for all of the teams mentioned:
Jackson is a hard thrower who’s had success pitching against the other A.L. East teams (he’s 7-1 with a 3.10 ERA vs. the other four AL East teams over the past three years).
As always, we await further developments.
In July 2010, Edwin Jackson was traded to the White Sox. Ever since, the flame-throwing righty has upped his game.
Edwin Jackson is a free agent. Edwin Jackson is good. Edwin Jackson isn't getting any attention. Poor Edwin Jackson :(
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