Blog Entry

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:07 pm

By Matt Snyder

Edwin Jackson is entering his 10th major-league season, and he'll do so with his seventh team. He is an agreement with the Washington Nationals on a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday. The deal, which was first reported by insider Jon Heyman, is pending a physical and Heyman reports it's believed to be between $8 million and $12 million.

"We saw an opportunity here to acquire a young, hard-throwing, power-pitching, innings-eating type of starting pitcher, and we thought it was good value at a good term," general manager Mike Rizzo said during a telephone conference call.

Jackson, 28, went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 148 strikeouts in 199 2/3 innings last season for the White Sox and Cardinals. He was dealt to St. Louis in late July and ended up winning a World Series ring with St. Louis. Also, while control was an issue early in  Jackson's career, his walk rate was a career-low 2.8 per nine innings in 2011.

"His walks are trending in the right direction," Rizzo said.

Jackson had a .339 opponents' batting average with the bases empty and a .239 average with runners on last season, but the Nationals think they can work with the issue.

"We're going to make a few tweaks to his delivery," Rizzo said. "Last year he was a different pitcher out of the windup than he was from the stretch."

Washington offseason
The Nationals won their arbitration hearing with fourth starter John Lannan this week, but the signing of Jackson could be a signal Lannan is on the move via trade. In fact, Fox Sports reported earlier Thursday the Nats are "aggressively shopping" Lannan. The Nationals now have a very strong front four in Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Jackson with either Chien-Ming Wang or Lannan filling the fifth spot. No matter who it is, that's a formidable top to bottom rotation.

Note that Strasburg is on an innings limit and the Nats can't be sure if Wang will hold up all season, so it wouldn't hurt to have extra starting pitching. If they did deal Lannan, they could still turn to Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen or Tom Gorzelanny in a pinch. But for now, it's all about adding Jackson.

Jackson has been unable to find a permanent home in his career, but he's always been a productive pitcher. He doesn't profile as a frontline starter, but Washington doesn't need him to be one. He has great experience for his age, with over 1,000 regular-season innings pitched and seven postseason appearances, including four starts. Also good for Jackson is that Nationals Park profiles as a slight pitchers' park.

Jackson had been asking for a three- to five-year contract, but when the market dried up, agent Scott Boras and Jackson looked for a one-year deal so they could hit the market again next season. Washington bit.

"It made it much more palatable to us," Rizzo said.

The Nationals are coming off an 80-81 season in which they finished third place in the NL East for the first time since moving to Washington. With a full season of Strasburg and the additions of Gonzalez and Jackson, they appear eager to compete in a loaded division.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 3:49 pm

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

Trade him for some prospects at the deadline if Nats are out of it.... very savvy move.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2012 3:27 pm

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

Funny, I thought Edwin Jackson had multiple multi-year offers on the table. No surprise though, another one year deal for Jackson. When the Nats are in 4th place by the all-star break, I bet he gets traded again to his 9th MLB team in 9 seasons. He's a people person dammit.

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2012 3:20 pm

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

Nats are making moves. Their rotation has been a weakness since...forever. And now it is really a strength with the addition of Gio Gonzalez and now Jackson. Oh yea...and that guy Strasburg for a full season will help. They might get a wildcard this year.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2012 3:14 pm

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

Good deal plus the Cardinals get a sandwich pick now, so that's good.

Don't get the deal with Jackson, everyone says he has a great arm and is solid in the clubhouse, but yet he bounces around all the time. 7 teams in 10 years and you can bet IF the Nats are out of it they will trade Jackson this year.

Pitchers like Jake Westbrook can get 2/3-year deals but Jackson can't? Doesn't add up.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2012 3:13 pm

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

As a Braves fan, I gotta admit I'm a little worried about Washington this year! They've made some incredible moves to improve their team particularly their pitching! So just when I was thinking Philly was on their way down and my Braves would be back on top in the East, here comes those Nats! They're just gonna keep getting better with all the young talent they have too.

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:47 pm

Edwin Jackson signs one-year deal with Nationals

Another stong move by the Nats.  They've taken what was an improving 0.500 team last year and made a lot of improvements.  I suspect they will give a number of teams a run for their money this season. 

The Phillies are going to have a tough division to deal with.  Of course, the tough division will have to deal with each other too.  It may be that they beat each other up even more than they rough up the Phillies so it should be OK. 

Not that I think the Phillies will come close to a 13 game win of the division this year, but then again, I wouldn't have thought the gap would be that wide last year either. 

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:30 pm

Edwin Jackson agrees to sign with Nationals

This is a good move for the Nats in signing Jackson to a one year deal.  The team seems to have taken a quality approach in trying to build a contender.  They are not waiting for their stud draft picks to mature and are continually adding pieces to the puzzle.  As those young guys begin to produce on the MLB level, this team could and should get real good in a hurry.  Props to their front office.

Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:16 pm

Edwin Jackson agrees to sign with Nationals

Like this move.  Would have thought it a good one if they had given him a 2-year deal.  As for the back end of the rotation, I'm not sure why they're willing to give up on Lannan in favor of Wang.  Wang pitched no better than Lannan did in his few starts last year. Plus, with all his shoulder problems, you don't know what to expect.  Lannan is younger, a LH and, with the exception of his brief demotion in 2010, he has been a solid starter for the Nats.  Would hate to see them move him only to need him down the road.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:09 pm

Edwin Jackson agrees to sign with Nationals

I'll always have fond memories of Jackson being the pitcher who gave up a home run to Joe Blanton in the World Series.

Since: Dec 12, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:08 pm

Edwin Jackson agrees to sign with Nationals

Great sign for the Nats.  Someone like Edwin Jackson as a #4 (assuming Strasburg is ready), that's a tough rotation.  I'm not a Nats or an NL fan but I like what the Nats are doing.  If it weren't for the Nats TV commentators, I'd actually watch this team once in a while.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or