June 7: Jackson’s deal has a $1.5MM base salary at the big league level, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link).
June 6: Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson and the Athletics are in agreement on a minor league contract, Jackson’s agents at the ESQ Agency have confirmed to MLBTR. The 34-year-old recently exercised an opt-out clause in his previous minor league pact with the Nationals and became a free agent. It seems that the A’s will need to make a relatively quick decision on Jackson, as his new deal comes with a June 20 opt-out date.
Jackson pitched well for the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse this season, logging a 3.40 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 41.7 percent ground-ball rate in 55 2/3 innings (a total of 10 starts). The well-traveled righty totaled 76 innings for the Nats at the MLB level in 2017, turning in mixed results. Jackson recorded a 2.94 ERA through his first eight starts last year but surrendered nine home runs through those 49 frames. The long ball caught up to him, as he was tagged for 24 earned runs in his final 22 innings of work. Jackson did maintain solid velocity on his heater (93.5 mph) and check in with a healthy 10.1 percent swinging-strike rate in 2017.
If Jackson sees any MLB time with the A’s, he’ll lay claim to an interesting oddity in MLB record books. The veteran righty has pitched in the Majors for 12 different clubs at present, leaving him one team shy of tying Octavio Dotel’s record of 13. Dating back to the 2003 season, Jackson has pitched in 377 MLB contests, tallying 1800 1/3 inning of 4.67 ERA ball with 6.9 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 43.7 percent grounder rate. He’s two wins shy of reaching the century mark for his career.
[Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]
The depth addition comes at a time when the A’s have already lost righty Jharel Cotton for the season due to Tommy John surgery and have recently placed both Andrew Triggs (nerve irritation) and Daniel Gossett (elbow strain) on the disabled list. Righty Paul Blackburn and lefty Brett Anderson, too, are on the big league disabled list for the A’s. Given the glut of injuries in the Oakland rotation picture and the close proximity of Jackson’s opt-out date, it seems there’s a decent chance he’ll ascend to the Majors with the A’s in the coming weeks.