With the bleak state of the free agent pitching market, I took a few days to reassess Jackson and the Yankees again; and good thing I did because my sentiments have changed.
Why the sudden new attitude about the Yankees acquiring Jackson?
- Jackson is a 28-year old innings eaters, who throws a lot of strikes and has lowered his walk numbers to a more respectable number over the last two seasons. Since 2007, his first full season as a starter he has never made less than 31 starts.
- Jackson is a solid fourth starter who could solidify the backend of the rotation and eat innings, which helps relieve the bullpen. Remember the Yankees did not know how good Ivan Nova or Freddy Garcia would be a season ago and Jackson would fit behind them nicely. Pending if Garcia is back in 2012, but my guess is he will.
- Last season, Jackson pitched under intense pressure in St. Louis and that makes him better equipped to handle New York.
- Pitching coach Larry Rothschild verified his reputation in 2011 and I have complete confidence that he will make Jackson better.
- Jackson will come a lot cheaper than CJ Wilson or Mark Buehrle both in years and in dollars, so the Yankees should offer more money to keep it a three-year deal. His agent is Scott Boras, so nothing is set in stone.
- Jackson had a nice 2011 season, splitting his time between the White Sox and the WS Champion Cardinals, who traded for him, mid-season. Combined, Jackson went 12-9 in 31 starts, posting a 3.79 ERA, issuing 62 walks, 148 strikeouts and gave up just 16 home-runs. He pitched his third straight season of 200 innings, which included one shutout and one complete game.
- Finally, Jackson has never had stability playing for six clubs in nine seasons. For a guy whose worn five different uniforms since 2009, having a secure home for a few years gives him and a team something he has never had…time.
Overall, Jackson’s upside is greater now and the Yankees could be getting a big bang for their buck. He has the stuff with a plus fastball that sits around 95 mpg, a killer slider and an 86+ change-up that just need some more grooming and a full season in one uniform could be just what the doctor ordered.
The “backseat approach” the Yankees claim to be taking this winter won’t work to ink Jackson because along with a scarce market, he is the best affordable option out there.
In my opinion, Jackson is worth taking a chance on now. Of course pending that the years stay at three, with a fourth year vesting option maximum. If those terms are possible, I hope the Yankees seriously consider signing him.
- New York Yankees: Choosing Between Oswalt, Buehrle And Wilson (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- The Yankees spoke with Edwin Jackson’s agent (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Edwin Jackson: Free Agent on Yankees Radar? (fitzandvig.com)
- MLB Free Agency: Why Edwin Jackson is a Perfect Fit for the New York Yankees (bleacherreport.com)
- Preliminary discussions with Edwin Jackson have begun (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- Yanks Talk To Edwin Jackson’s Agent & Others (slidingintohome.blogspot.com)
- New York Yankees: Free Agent Pitching Possibilities (ladylovespinstripes.com)