March 29: The Blue Jays announced the signing of Jackson to a one-year, Major League contract. He will indeed head to Triple-A Buffalo for now. Righty Chad Green, who’s still on the mend from Tommy John surgery, was moved to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
March 28: The Blue Jays and righty Jay Jackson have agreed to a new split contract following the reliever’s release a few days ago, reports Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet (Twitter thread). Jackson, a client of Nello Gamberdino, will earn a $1.5MM salary at the MLB level.
The 35-year-old Jackson originally inked a minor league deal with the Jays over the winter. He enjoyed a strong spring, yielding only a pair of unearned runs on seven hits and two walks while punching out 13 hitters over the course of 9 1/3 frames.
That excellent spring effort in many ways marked a continuation of a strong run that Jackson enjoyed with the Braves organization in 2022. He tossed just 1 1/3 scoreless innings with the big league club in Atlanta, though his lack of opportunity was largely due to a stacked MLB bullpen. Jackson posted a 2.29 ERA with a 31.3% strikeout rate and 5% walk rate in 19 Triple-A appearances as well.
Jackson spent the 2021 season with the Giants organization, pitching to a 3.74 ERA with a 31.1% strikeout rate and 13.3% walk rate in 21 2/3 big league innings. He’s also spent parts of four seasons in Japan, split between the Hiroshima Carp and Chiba Lotte Marines, with a combined 2.16 ERA, 27.4% strikeout rate and 9.5% walk rate in 183 innings there. It’s far from a typical career arc, but Jackson has had plenty of success from his late 20s into his mid-30s, and he could get a chance to continue that trend with the Blue Jays before long.