The Case for Edwin Jackson
It seems like the Padres filling their starting pitching needs from free agency are getting thinner and thinner. This either means the Padres look to acquire a new starting pitcher through trades or just stay in house. Amidst all the starting pitching contracts being signed, there is a name out there that has caught the attention of Josh Byrnes and that is Edwin Jackson. Edwin would be a nice acquisition for the Padres to help fill their starting pitching depth.
Jackson signed a one year $11 million contract with the Nationals and gave them a 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA. Edwin has a fastball (4S)/slider/curveball/changeup pitch selection with his slider being his best pitch. His fastball usually sits around 93 MPH so he’s not overpowering hitters.
What is good about Edwin Jackson?
Edwin Jackson throws strikes. His K/9 was 7.59 and more importantly his BB/9 was 2.69 in 2012 and it is improving! He won’t clog the basepaths with free passes and still has a pretty decent strikeout ratio. Padres fans became quickly frustrated with Volquez inability to throw strikes and posted an abysmal 5.17 BB/9 so the ability to throw strikes is key. Secondly, he is better than his ERA tells us. His FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) was 3.85 which is usually a predictor stat and this was in NL East where they don’t have the pitching friendly parks like the NL West does. Thirdly as mentioned before, his slider is his best pitch which benefits from the maritime air in San Diego. Under the tutelage of “Blasley” (portmanteau of Black and Balsley, thank you Matt), he should look to improve his fastball.
What is bad about Edwin Jackson?
He is 29. This makes any kind of multi-year deal a little bit dicey as he will turn 30 during the 2013 season. Furthermore, his early career has been rough and he has been a trade piece for many teams. He is mostly a ground-ball pitcher but when he gives up a fly ball, 10% of those found fans’ gloves instead of outfielders’ gloves. This may not be a great concern as ⅗ of the NL West have very pitcher friendly parks.
What is the final word about Edwin Jackson?
Edwin will throw strikes, and give you 180-200 innings in a season and he does not have a checkered medical history and can benefit pitching in the NL West. This has been Byrnes paramount criterion. Contract wise, a two-year $18 million with incentives would not be a bad contract and it would only take him into age 31. Add all this up and the Padres have a pretty good option as the Opening Day starter. The Padres want someone throwing strikes not walking everyone as the ace, Edwin will do that. Once Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland come back, Edwin can fill in nicely as a 3rd or 4th starter in front of or in between Richard and Stultz (or whomever the Padres pick as the 5th starter). Edwin has pitched up to and beyond 200 innings so this means a fresher bullpen if he can do that (a good incentive option). Edwin Jackson should be someone for Josh Byrnes to put some serious effort into acquiring