Nationals Baseball: Shut down the offseason! Edwin Jackson is back!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Shut down the offseason! Edwin Jackson is back!

This happened yesterday.

In the grand scheme of things it's not all that important Minor league deals are things teams throw at a lot of veterans to see if any stick. The money involved is usually minimal and that is true in this case. He'd earn under 2 million if he makes the team. Edwin Jackson, who ended the season with the Nats is the perfect candidate for such a deal. He's not a good pitcher so you don't want to be contracted to pay him, but it wouldn't surprise you if he put up a mid 4.00s ERA for most of a year and that has value. So you see in the Spring if that's what he looks like.

The belief floating around is that last year he was a pretty good pitcher for the Nats until those last 5 starts. Actually he had a lot of  "scattered hit" games in his successful time. 5 hits, 2 walks, 1 homer in 6 innings - 1 run. 8 hits and a walk in 7 - 1 run. 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 homer in 6 innings - 2 runs. 6 hits, 4 walks, 1 homer in 6 innings - 2 earned runs. You usually don't find a WHIP of 1.4 leading to a 2.18 ERA unless you are cutting out all homers (he wasn't - about 1 per game) or striking out everyone (he wasn't - about 5.4 per 9).

That's not to say he was pitching poorly. Something more like a high 3.00s would have been expected and perfectly ok! But then those 1 homers became 2 and 3 and that 1.4 WHIP became 1.8 and you can't luck out of that. He really was earned awful those last 5 games.

That's the real question going forward. How much of Edwin Jackson is that guy who can be a 5th starter that we saw for 6-7 games and how much of him is the guy that can't that we saw for the last 5?  A mix of the two isn't good enough. He has to be pretty much all the former to be useful.  

The other thing that bothers one about a deal like this is that it's a late February deal made in early January. This is a last piece kind of thing. "Eh, we're still not completely happy with our starting pitching. Let's throw in a few other vets on minor league deals here just to see if we get lucky" What does it mean to be doing this now?  Are the Nats done with the off-season already pitching wise? Or was this just offered up to them and they couldn't refuse.

I'm not excited or bothered by the deal by itself. It has some worrying connotations, but we'll have to see if those actually play out. The free agent market is moving so slow that those that want movement still can't worry about inaction.


blovy8 said...

My guess is that the Nats are a little worried that everyone is taking a page out of their book and waiting until Spring Training is upon us to try to get a good deal on a pitcher. Of course, considering so many of these guys are Boras clients, there's still the danger that the supposedly panicky free agent is still going to get paid as though there were four competing bidders a la Wieters, instead of a legit bargain like Lind was.

sirc said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but Dave Martinez had Edwin for one season in Chicago when Edwin was working out of the Cubs bullpen and was effective.

I think it makes sense. They know Edwin, know he won't be a problem as depth at AAA or as whatever is required with the big club.

I agree with Harper that this is early for a depth signing such as this. Maybe Boras required they sign Edwin if the Nats want to avoid arbitration with Rendon.

Chas R said...

*meh*... not a bad signing, but not what we are hoping for. The 4 top SPs are going to get paid, just a matter of when. I suspect that has to do with the number of years. Seems like teams and their front offices are becoming more and more analytically driven, and analytics say long term/big $$$ deals with FAs in their 30s don't work out. 3 year deals are looking more and more the new norm, and perhaps that is the major holdup in FA signings- particularly for SPs. What do you think Harper?

Chas R said...

@sirc I thought EJax was represented by Boras too and that was a good sign Nats were still talking to Boras on other FAs, but apparently he is represented by ESQ

Harper said...

Yes E Jax left Boras actually soon after signing with the Nats in 2012, I think

sirc said...

Thanks, you guys are right.

So, Edwin started being a bad pitcher when he left Boras?

blovy8 said...

That Donaldson arbitration number is crazy, it makes the Bryce salary this year seem like a steal!

Zimmerman11 said...

Yay Kendrick!

Replaced Lind with Adams... and kept the band together otherwise.

This probably means we're all done 'til the deadline tho.........