Make Or Break Year: Edwin Jackson

If Edwin Jackson continues pitching the way he did after being traded last summer, he'll set himself up for tens of millions in free agency. If he pitches the way he did before being dealt from Arizona to Chicago, his free agent stock will tumble and agent Scott Boras will be looking to find Jackson a 'pillow contract.'

Though he threw a no-hitter for the D'Backs last summer, Jackson was mediocre in his brief stint in the desert. The 27-year-old posted a 5.16 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 134 1/3 innings in hitter-friendly Chase Field before moving back to the American League, where he thrived under the tutelage of pitching coach Don Cooper.

Edwin Jackson

Jackson dominated 11 starts for the White Sox after the trade, posting a 3.24 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 75 innings. Overall, Jackson posted a 49.4% ground ball rate and maintained an average fastball velocity of 94.4 mph (5th in MLB among qualified pitchers).

Like Jorge de la Rosa, who entered the 2010 season with comparable stats to the ones Jackson has now and a similarly inconsistent track record, Jackson could convince teams he's worthy of a multiyear contract by performing well in 2011, his contract year. De La Rosa, who has also been a member of five MLB organizations, missed time with a finger injury before putting together a strong season last year and he ended up with a $31.5MM contract.

If Jackson pitches reasonably well in 2010, he could ask for a contract like De La Rosa's. Jackson isn't left-handed, but he has more big league experience than De La Rosa despite being two years younger, since he first appeared in the majors as a teenager.

A poor season would limit interest in Jackson. His former teammate, Jeremy Bonderman, can attest to the fact that teams will shy away from starters if they don't have a strong walk year even if they're young and have a history of big league success (Bonderman's medical history is considerably spottier than Jackson's). But a strong season would set Jackson up as one of the top options in what will likely be a weak free agent class.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

49 Responses to Make Or Break Year: Edwin Jackson Leave a Reply

  1. The White Sox need to resign him if he’s to be worth Daniel Hudson.

    • rockfordone 4 years ago

      To be honest as a Sox fan – I would move to the the A’s with Quinton for Gio and Sweeney.

      • tborcub1 4 years ago

        trading for two former sox prospects

      • jwsox 4 years ago

        the sox dont need sweeney or gio…..i would take jackson over gio and the sox have rios, and danks and mitchell …danks and mitchell should be ready for the bigs next season and if they are not the OF market is huge. Plus why would the A’s want quintin!?

    • daveineg 4 years ago

      Resigning him doesn’t make him worth Daniel Hudson who would have been under their control through 2016, with half of those years pre-arbitration. Even though Jackson pitched well for the Sox, that deal in my opinion was one of the dumbest moves by any team in 2010. Hudson’s a stud.

      • eck78 4 years ago

        Everyone apparently fails to remember the Daniel Hudson who pitched for the Sox before he was traded. He didnt impress much and didnt come close to duplicating his call up in 09. Kenny traded for a known commodity in Jackson who tasted some MAJOR LEAGUE succedss. Hudson should be better pitching not only in the NL, but the god aweful NL West. The only downfall I saw with the deal was Jackson’s salary, but if he becomes a number 1/solid 2, Buehrle is off the books next year.

        • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

          So we should be judging pitchers with high ceilings based off their first few performances?

          • eck78 4 years ago

            In the middle of trying to win a division, pennant, World Series, yes.

          • jwsox 4 years ago

            are you talking about hudson or jackson because the same can be said for both…jackson was lights out for the sox and hudson was damn good for the dbacks

      • Antonio Nicarelli 4 years ago

        It is hard to anoint Hudson a stud after half a season, especially when the portion turned in before Auguest was hardly studly. Hudson is a flyball pitcher, which does not bode well in the Cell. That said, it is possible for Jackson to return to his AZ numbers. That would make this a bad trade, but hardly one of the dumbest on record. But even if Jackson’s ERA climbs half a run, it is still possible for this to be a win-win.

      • jwsox 4 years ago

        dont call hudson a stud yet. He has had half a season pitching in the bigs give him at least another full year before calling him a stud. And considering they traded for jackson thinking it would get them dunn and then got dunn anyway i would say its a good deal

    • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

      I’m not putting Hudson in the Hall of Fame just yet. But if he is as good as the D’backs think he is, and Jackson puts up career norm type numbers, this trade could be the worst of Kenny’s tenure as G.M.
      When you think about Hudson’s age, 2011 salary, skill set and years of team control, I’m not sure what Kenny was thinking.
      Flipping Jackson for a 3 month rental of Dunn would have been even dumber.

      • jwsox 4 years ago

        because at the time the whitesox needed that left handed power bat and they thought for sure they were going to get dunn for jackson…the NAts GM backed out(bullshit) and the sox missed out on Dunn. The 3 month rental of dunn could have helped the sox take over the twins because at the time of the trade the sox were only 4 games back i believe….this is not the worst trade in kennys tenure…the swisher to the yankees for literally nothing is the worst so far, maybe the teahan deal.

  2. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    Well I hope the D-Back’s Jackson shows up this season

  3. Is it possible the guy only pitches good in the AL where he doesnt have to hit?!

  4. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Things that can help EJ get seriously paid by the Yankees.

    a) Have a good season and strikeout a lot of people. (Yanks lovvvvvve power arms).

    b) Make the post-season and become a “big game” pitcher (Yanks lovvvvvve pitcher that pitch well in the playoffs).

    c) Dominate the Red Sox and the Yankees (The only thing that impresses the Yanks more than pitchers that have dominated the Sox are pitchers that have dominated them).

    Follow A, B and C and you too EJ can join the 5/$65 mil or better club.

    • A, B, OR C.
      Burnett had not done B, but A and C certainly got him paid.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Hopefully the Yanks won’t NEED a free agent pitcher next year but EJ fits what they might be looking for. He’s been healthy, throws hard and is coming into prime years. And not to make it a racial thing, but more of a indetifying with “thing”, I could see them feeling that CC good be a good mentor for EJ. Not a mentor in that he’s a “charachter issue” but a mentor in terms of being a young power pitcher still trying to learn how to pitch. I guess it’s a matter of whether or not he has it together mentally or is he another AJ Burnett?

    • Since_77 4 years ago

      With Scott Boras as his agent that $65 million contract looks about right.

    • icedrake523 4 years ago

      All he has to be is the best free agent pitcher and the Yankees will go after him.

      • Since_77 4 years ago

        They may only go after him if they can’t sign CC to an extension. But if they do re-sign Sabathia, next year I hope we would get a chance to see how good the killers B’s in the #4 or #5 starting positions.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          I still would not expect to see both Bets and Bans debut in the rotation out the gate in 2012. If Nova shows he can be a good pitcher as well then expect him to be still part of the rotation.

          I don’t think it’s wishful thinking that Nova could be a 200 IP, 4.20, 150 ko kind of pitcher in 2011.

        • jwsox 4 years ago

          they dont need to resig CC CC is already under contract with an opt out clause. yes he could easily do it and make more money on the market but at the same time its hard for a big with his body type to walk away from 90+ million.

  5. Alex 4 years ago

    Open question to everyone: best 2011 season? Choose two: Edwin Jackson, James Shields, John Lackey, Bud Norris, Edinson Volquez

    • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

      Improved defense in the boston OF might really benifit Lackey, Norris might be a 200 K guy if he hits 32+ GS and Shields has gotten progressively worse over the past three seasons and needs his own “make or break year” post.

      I say Jackson and Volquez, simpley put they posses higher quality pitches and can afford mistakes. Norris is my wild card pick. Lackey could suprise but most pitchers don’t have mavor progressions at 32, and i think Shields won’t show any major improvements because he’s in the AL East.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Jackson and Lackey. Jackson pitched really well in Chicago last year, maybe being on a team with a decent shot at the playoffs will light a fire under him. As for Lackey, I know I’ll be called biased but he he did have 21 quality starts last year with a 3.85 FIP. I think he’ll bounce back as well.

      • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

        He said he believe’s the OF defense had alot to do with his numbers last season, a full season of ells and crawford will help. I like lackey, he’s built a carear out of knowing how to pitch, my major concern as a sox fan is when he starts to lose the break on his pitches and he is going into his age 32 season and thats why i didn’t chose him.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        I’m might be called biased as well. But Lackey showed strides throughout the season. I have confidence he’ll bounce back also.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        “As for Lackey, I know I’ll be called biased but he he did have 21 quality starts last year with a 3.85 FIP”.

        Freddy Garcia pitched 18 quality starts last year so I don’t know how good of a projective stat that is. Lackey’s peripherals compared to last year would make you think his numbers would’ve been worse. His K/9 were lower and his BB/9 and H/9 went up. The only thing that saved him was his ability, by luck or skill, to keep the ball in the park.

        I would say EJ and Volquez.

        EJ saw his GB% jump from 39% to 49%. His K/9 went up from 6.7 to 7.7. He lowered his HR/9 and his FIP was 3.86. His B/9 are still a concern though.

        As for Volquez, it’s just a hunch based off the fact that he appeard completely healthy for the first time since 2008 and his velocity was strong @ 94 mph and he showed more confidence in his curve. Those two along with his change can be enough to return him into a really solid #2-#3 type pitcher. Unfortunately, like EJ,he has to work on his control.

    • Pawsdeep 4 years ago

      Lackey and volquez.

      I think volquez is primed to have an amazing year and lackey will look even more fantastic with that much improved Boston defense…

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      I have to pick Volquez, he has the best stuff out of that group and when healthy is the hardest to hit.

  6. I would just not give this guy a bunch of guaranteed money. Talented but inconsistent pitchers aren’t worth top dollar. If the Sox feel like their people got him straight, and if that continues, then Chicago could resign him. But enigma pitchers like Edwin can be painful to watch, and sometimes impossible to rely on.

    Stick with a team that can keep you focused, Edwin, or you deserve, at best, a moderately-sized incentive-laden deal.

    • bigpat 4 years ago

      He has the tools to be an ace though and some team will see an opportunity and pay him like one. Sure, there’s some risk involved, but he’s young and has a very live fastball and a filthy slider and last year he dominated in Chicago. If he can keep his ERA under 4 and pitch 200+ innings, he’s in line for a huge payday.

  7. Pawsdeep 4 years ago

    I still can’t believe Detroit got scherzer AND schlereth for Jackson.

    Don’t get me wrong, Jackson was fantastic for Detroit but everyone knew scherzer was going to be the real deal and schlereth is a lefty reliever which alone makes him worth his weight in gold. Both of those two are under team friendly contracts and have some incredible potential. I’m not complaining, but still baffled as to what the d backs were trying to accomplish by stepping into that trade.

    • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

      I personally feel the Tigers thought his 4.3 war was a fluke, it was a good deal dont get me wrong (i would of done it) but it in retrospect how many teams really flip a 25 year old with those kind of numbers.

      • Pawsdeep 4 years ago

        Oh i agre–that was very strange to see a team move a 25 year old solid starter but They were right about it so they obviously knew something we didn’t and I agree that at the time people in Detroit were sick to their stomachs over that trade but they now it is looking like a genius move…they definitely got more than Jackson and granderson were worth.

        Jacksons pitch count did always scare the hell out of me. The amount of pitches he throws per start is staggering in this day and age…I mean it took him almost 150 pitches to get that no-no. I can’t see how his arm will hold up…

        • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

          I imagine the value of moveing Granderson just was’nt as valuable as moveing them both, given the money saved and players they recieved in return it was really a steal, i dont think people understand that this deal essentially allowed them to keep Verlander and sign V-mart ths past offseason.

          • Pawsdeep 4 years ago

            Agreed. And on top of saving that money, the two they got to replace Jackson and grandy were better as rookies than who they were replacing.

            I am still just overwhelmed they got Action! Jackson! AND Max in that trade because by all indication of their scouting reports pre-trade, it should come as no surprise that they are as good as they are. The tigers are lucky that Jackson was as amazing as he was last year but everything I read seemed to know that he was going to be a star and that same token can be handed to scherzer.

          • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

            I think Jackson can develope into a 20-20 guy, i dont like the 170 K’s but he did end up with a .345 Obp, i think he could become a .280/.370/.450 with 50+ XBH guy, and Scherzer should hit 200 IP and 200 k’s if healthy.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I don’t think they did. One of those came from the Granderson dealI think.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Completely disregard what I said. I’m hopped up off of Nyquil. Granderson and EJ were part of the same deal. Sry.

  8. It will work out alright for the dbacks because Daniel Hudson will be good for them

  9. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Completely disregard what I said. I’m hopped up off of Nyquil. Granderson and EJ were part of the same deal. Sry.

  10. If the Sox don’t resign him, I bet you the Nationals are first in line.

  11. METfan201 4 years ago

    One of my fav players

  12. chetkincaid 4 years ago

    I’d much rather the Sox resign Edwin Jackson and cut ties with Mark Buehrle at the end of the season.

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