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Edwin Jackson's "very cool" market offers opportunity

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On Saturday evening, word slowly started to trickle out about Zach Greinke, the best starting pitcher on the free agent market, signing a six-year, $147 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The new ownership team in LA is not afraid to spend money as their team payroll is well over $200 million for next season and they might not be done yet. With Greinke now off the market, some of the other big name free agent starters should begin to sign.

Those teams that missed out on the Greinke sweepstakes will now have to turn their attention to the other available arms. Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, and Anibal Sanchez are the next three best free agent starters and their demand might have gone up slightly in the last 48 hours. There might be a few more needy teams calling these player's agents as Christmas is quickly approaching.

The Twins weren't going to be in the running for Zach Greinke because the club hasn't exactly been known to hand out $100 million contracts to free agents. Last season's signing of Josh Willingham for 3-years and $21 million was the largest free agent contract in club history. They might have to break this dollar total if the Twins want to sign one of the big free agent starters left on the market.

When the offseason started, the Twins had a little bit of cap room to work with to try and lure free agents to come to Minnesota. The recent trade of Denard Span also freed up a little more money that could be used for starting pitching. He was set to make $4.75 million in 2013 and now it is clear that the Twins will be using a cheaper option in center field.

It doesn't seem likely for the Twins to go to hard after Kyle Lohse because he left the team on such bad terms. He took a baseball bat after Ron Gardenhire's door the last time he was in town and the same manager is still in charge. This isn't saying that the team wouldn't make him an offer but the odds wouldn't exactly be in favor of him returning.

Anibal Sanchez is another big name starting pitcher and he might have already priced himself out of consideration for the Twins. He is looking for a six-year, $90 million contract and one AL executive thinks he will probably get that much. There is no way the Twins are going to give a starting pitcher that kind of contract and Sanchez will probably be able to pick from a few different clubs that will be interested.

Since breaking into the big leagues as a 19-year old rookie in 2003, Edwin Jackson has been on quite the baseball tour. He has played for seven different teams in his 10-year career and that includes multiple seasons in the American League and the National League. Over the last three seasons, he has averaged a 3.91 ERA, 195.0 IP, and a 1.330 WHIP. These aren't great numbers but he has been a workhorse by pitching over 180 innings in every season since 2007.

Jackson was a free agent during last offseason and the market dried up for the right-handed hurler. Some of this might have come from the fact that his agent is Scott Boras, one of the toughest agents for teams to work with. In the end, Jackson had to settle for a one-year deal with the Nationals worth $11 million. This is still a decent amount of money but he will most likely be looking for a multi-year contract this offseason.

Reports from this weekend stated that the market for Jackson is cool again this offseason. This could allow a team like the Twins to slip in and make an offer for the pitcher. This same report says that Jackson could end up having to accept a deal close to three-years and $36 million or even as low as three-years and $27 million. If the Twins ended up somewhere in the middle of those two numbers, they could have Jackson set to be the third member of their starting rotation for 2013.

The Twins could put themselves in a decent position for the future if they were able to pounce on the cold market for Jackson. He might not be a front of the rotation starter but he could help add some stability to the starting staff for the next handful of seasons. With their recent trades, the Twins got some good young arms but those players might not be ready for a couple of years. Jackson could help the Twins for multiple seasons by being a healthy arm that eats innings.

If other teams don't want the services of Mr. Jackson, the Twins should definitely be making the call to inquire about him coming to Minnesota. He might not be an ace but he can fill a hole and bridge a gap to the future.

Comments

  1. TopGunn#22's Avatar
    Amen. They should be going after this guy. he's only 29 and a 3 year deal wouldn't be a huge risk. He's an innings eater who can strike a guy out once in awhile. And he ain't Nick Blackburn!!!
  2. Jim H's Avatar
    It is true he isn't Blackburn, but he hasn't been any better than Blackburn's 2 good seasons, either. You have to wonder why a guy with his kind of stuff doesn't put up better numbers. You also have to notice that one year is all anyone seems to want to keep him around for.

    I guess that if Ryan signs him, especially for 2 years or less, I won't be upset. I won't be very excited either. He is a back of a rotation guy, who has generally eaten up a fair number of innings. I doubt if he is suddenly going to turn into an ace, or even a top of rotation guy. It doesn't seem like he will be a complete bust, either.
  3. Kwak's Avatar
    He will sign either the long-term deal that he wants, or with a playoff team. One has to wonder why so many teams?
  4. DBTwinsFan's Avatar
    "When the offseason started, the Twins had a little bit of cap room to work with to try and lure free agents to come to Minnesota."

    Cap room? In baseball?
  5. boney's Avatar
    I like Lohse. Just put a steel door on Gardy's office and rest a few rubber bats against the wall outside of it. Problem solved .
  6. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DBTwinsFan;bt4908[COLOR=#3E3E3E
    Cap room? In baseball?[/COLOR]
    Capitalization.
  7. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    Jackson would be a fan favorite in Minnesota
  8. nicksaviking's Avatar
    Jackson should be a prime target for a risk terrified team like the Twins. Say he signs for 3 years at $39 million. Even if he's not pitching at a $13 million level, his track record says he's not likely to completely crash and burn. He'll give reasonable innings and limit BB while having the actual ability to strike a guy out if the situation is desperate for it. Will he pitch to a $13 million level? Maybe not, but there's little chance he'll pitch below a $10 million dollar value either. He's safe and besides, he's proven to be a very tradable commodity.
  9. Jim H's Avatar
    "Will he pitch to a $13 million level? Maybe not, but there's little chance he'll pitch below a $10 million dollar value either. He's safe and besides, he's proven to be a very tradable commodity"Quote from Nick

    You don't think he will pitch below a $10 million level? I don't think he has ever been more than a back of a rotation pitcher. Is that really worth $10 million per year? You are right about him being tradable. I just wonder why he his previous teams were so willing to get rid of him.

    I certainly want the Twins to sign some free agent pitchers. While I suppose Jackson isn't the worst pitcher out there, he certainly is likely to be overpriced and I think overvalued. I rather hope that if the Twins sign a pitcher or pitchers to a multi-year deal, it is somebody likely to be more consistent and frankly better than Jackson.
  10. TopGunn#22's Avatar
    Jim H. That's the point. ALL starting pitching is overpriced and overvalued. I think Nicksaviking makes a great point about a team that is VERY risk averse especially when it comes to pitching.
    E. Jax is just 29 years old and a 3 year deal, taking him to 32 and the Twins thru 2015 would be pretty good if/when the young guns Gibson, Meyer, Hendricks, May (Berrios)? are ready.
  11. old nurse's Avatar
    The tepid market for Jackson could be due to being on a very good team he was still only a .500 pitcher, whip 1.4, ERA of 4 in the national league, and averaged only 6 innings a game.
  12. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Far better option than the recently rumored Correia.

    I do have to wonder why he is looking for his 8th organization by age 29.
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