Another Free Agent Right Hander

At the end of last week, I briefly touched on one free agent the Yankees could look into signing. Now, we’ll look into another, courtesy of this tweet from Mike Axisa:

Edwin Jackson, the forgotten upcoming free agent.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Edwin Jackson, honestly. I thought his control was always pretty “meh” and he didn’t quite strike enough guys out to make up for it despite his awesome stuff. Regardless, it’s my job here to look at things as objectively as possible. And considering the dearth of starting pitching that will be available this offseason, Jackson may be worth a look.

He’s thrown a solid amount of innings since 2007 (161.0 low, 214 high) so he’s shown he can stay healthy. He’s combined that with a relative effectiveness that has seen him produce 3.6. 3.8, and 3.8 fWAR. His FIP- (96, 91, and 89) and xFIP- (98, 92, 94) numbers have been solid, as well as trending in the right direction. To add to that, he’s seemingly got the walks under control, as he hasn’t been over 3.35 in the last three years and 2011 marked the second time in the last three years that he’s been under 3.00 BB/9. Control is trending the right way and so are his HR/9 numbers. He has spent time in Detroit and St. Louis recently, which could explain that, but as previously mentioned, his FIP and xFIP numbers are good enough.

This past season, Jackson made $8.35M so I think he’ll be looking to get into the double digits this year. He’ll definitely get that on the open market. With any contract, though, there’s also the length to worry about. Jackson will be 28 when the season starts (will be 29 on 9/9/12) so time is essentially on his side. Even a four year contract would only take him through his age 31 season. Since Jackson is relatively young, we may end up more concerned with money here rather than years. Giving four years to a 28 year old isn’t too risky a proposition. He wouldn’t be at the top of my list, but the more I look at him, the better Jackson looks. I’d consider offering him something in the 4/40-44 range, but considering how thin the pitching market is, he may be able to eke is AAV to $12M somewhere else. How do you feel about Edwin Jackson?

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

7 thoughts on “Another Free Agent Right Hander

  1. He would be 5th on my list especially after seeing him last night. Assuming cost, my choices would be in order: Darvish, Wilson, Buehrle, Danks (via a trade) then Jackson. Like I said the order is dependent on the “cost” both in years and dollars.

  2. Assuming we get CC, I don’t think we need him. Nova, Burnett and Hughes are all likely to get roster spots, and I’d rather leave one open for Noesi/Warren/Phelps/Betances etc. We have so many kids coming up, the hard part will be making room for them, especially with CC and AJ locking up 40% of the rotation for the next 2 years. I know that won’t maximize our production for 2012, but there are better pitchers coming for 2013, and I believe the patience will pay dividends.

  3. You forgot to mention that Jackson has experience pitching in the AL East (as recently as 2008), unlike Wilson – who gets to feast on offensive giants like the Athletics and Mariners – or Darvish, who has never thrown an inning of major league ball. Jackson seems like a safer bet than either of those two and would probably accept a less extravagant and more reasonable deal, along with more reasonable expectations.

  4. Mike, I’ve always shared your “meh” attitude towards Jackson. I always thought the potential fair outweighed the actual results and I always felt like the Yankees were going to come back against him when he was on the hill.

    The numbers and trends on Jackson don’t lie, though. I think I would have been more open to considering him as a cheaper alternative for 2012 if this post would have come out before he walked the yard lat night in Texas. There’s just something about him that scares me. I think I’d be watching most of his outings in a Yankee uniform with my hands covering my eyes.

    Even at 10-11 mil a year, couldn’t the Yankees come close to approximating Jackson’s value by bringing back Freddy for another year at 5-6?

  5. Resign CC is obviously number 1. After that I would like Darvish, and then depending on the years and money, Wilson. EJax is a nice pitcher, a number 3 kind of guy. The last 3 years he has averaged 214IP and all of his numbers are trending in the right direction. He has more upside than Buehrle, gives you the same amount of innings, and is considerably younger. However I don’t think I would want him.

    After CC, Darvish, and Wilson I don’t want any more multiyear deals given out. I would rather sign a high upside recovering vet on a one year deal. I know Garcia and Colon were longshots. Hell you could write a book about it. But I don’t mind taking a step back to take a leap forward here. A commitment to EJax basically locks up the entire rotation and ensures we won’t be players in the 2012 FA market. I know the dangers of relying on FA but I have to believe someone of the Hamels, Cain, Danks, Grienke, and Marcum pool will be available and I would rather them over EJax or Buehrle.

    • I fully believe that none of Hamels, Cain, Danks, and Grienke will hit the free agent market. Hamels is going to re-sign with the Phils, of this I’m 99.9% sure. Cain at worst will be traded to help out the Giants lack of offense, if of course they can’t or won’t re-sign him long-term. I actually think Danks will re-sign with the White Sox, but if he doesn’t there will be no shortage of teams willing to trade for a young lefty before he hits free agency. Which leaves Grienke, and I can’t imagine the Brewers will let him hit free agency. They have basically no system after all the trades they’ve made, and I think they will be commited to re-signing him. Now if it gets to the point in which they realize they can’t re-sign him, it makes no sense not to try and buy back some prospects and re-fill their depleted system.

      I think Marcum does indeed hit free agency, the Brewers won’t re-sign both Grienke and Marcum, and if they trade Grienke they will ride it out with Marcum.

      This is why I am not putting too many eggs in the “wait until 2013” basket. Since the newest trend is to work to re-sign young starters, and once that doesn’t work trade them. I don’t mind holding out hope for some of these guys to be available, but I’ve read comments basically saying sign no one but CC and get 2 huge names then. I for one don’t think that will be able to happen at all. I think the best names will likely be guys like Marcum, Sanchez, etc… good starters, but certainly not number 1 guys.