Edwin Jackson may not be an ace, but he’s the top free agent starter available at this point in the offseason. Agent Scott Boras told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that Jackson is a safer bet than Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish.
“If someone were to say that Yu Darvish would come in, average 200 innings, less than a 4.00 ERA and be a solid two or three starter, they would be elated,” Boras said. “The reality is, that is exactly what Edwin Jackson has done.”
Jackson, 28, posted a 3.79 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 with a 43.8% ground ball rate in 199 2/3 innings for the White Sox and Cardinals this past season. The hard-throwing right-hander has averaged 208 innings per season with a 3.96 ERA since 2009, but has a career ERA of 4.46 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 since he debuted with the Dodgers on his 20th birthday in 2003. Jackson ranked sixth on MLBTR’s list of top free agents entering the offseason, and he’s the top pitcher on the market now that Darvish and C.J. Wilson are unavailable.
Boras suggested the market for Jackson continues to develop as new general managers take in information about potential additions. Boras argued that no Japanese pitchers have averaged 200 innings with an ERA under 4.00 in their first three seasons in MLB, but Hideo Nomo accomplished just that with the Dodgers.