Nationals GM Mike Rizzo held a conference call with media this afternoon to discuss his team's agreement with right-hander Edwin Jackson. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has some of the pertinent details…
- "We did not acqire Edwin Jackson to trade another starting pitcher," Rizzo said. "In spring training or before spring training, if a deal comes up we can’t pass up that positively impacts our ball club, we’d certainly be open-minded to it.” We heard earlier today that the Nats were shopping John Lannan in order to free up some room for Jackson in the club's rotation.
- In regards to Lannan, Rizzo said that though the southpaw has a minor league option remaining, Washington won't send him down to Triple-A. "We feel that he’s a major league-caliber starting pitcher,” Rizzo said. “He’s a major league starter, and he’s ready to help a contending team. That’s what we’re going to use him as.”
- Rizzo noted that six of last year's playoff teams had at least two starters with 200 innings pitched, and Jackson's presence will help correct the "innings shortage" Rizzo said the Nationals suffered last year. This would seem to be a point in favor of the Nats keeping Lannan, as Kilgore notes Chien-Ming Wang's injury history, Stephen Strasburg's 160-inning limit and the fact that Jordan Zimmermann has never thrown more than 161 frames in a season.
- The Nationals began talking with Scott Boras about Jackson within the last two weeks, and Jackson's willingness to accept a one-year contract was the turning point in negotiations. “The term and the value was too good to pass up," Rizzo said. "We felt it improved our club immensely. There comes a point where his value was such that we were comfortable making the deal.”