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?