Categorized | Cardinals

Edwin Jackson Joins Washington Nationals

The late blooming free agent market is beginning to produce contracts, this time in the form of a one year deal between Edwin Jackson and the Washington Nationals.

Many fans will remember that Edwin Jackson joined the St. Louis Cardinals in a mid-summer trade that sent Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays.  That trade, at the time, seemingly divided Cardinal Nation on the opinion of what the team was hoping to accomplish.

The critics of the trade felt the Cardinals were going all in for 2012 and paying too high of a price.  At the heart of the deal was Rasmus, considered by many to be a budding star who simply could not get along with manager Tony LaRussa.  Rasmus was part of the future in St. Louis as far as fans were concerned.  Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson were rent-a-players that proved this franchise was only looking at the current season.  The evidence to support this argument is mounting as all three players have now moved on.

Cardinal Nation seems slow to accept the fact that General Manager John Mozeliak has instituted a new regime, and a new strategy, towards building this club.  The players that were returned for Rasmus, Trever Miller, P.J. Walters and Brian Tallet did exactly what they were designed to do: they helped win in 2012 and build for the future.  All thanks to the free agency system as we know it.

The key part to the trade from the Cardinals side was Marc Rzepczynski, a left handed relief pitcher that may well find his way into the rotation some day.  In addition, those pieces that helped win in 2012 became ranked free agents, delivering the Cardinals with supplemental draft picks in this year’s amateur draft in exchange for their services on other teams.

Jackson reached an agreement with the Nationals this afternoon on a one year contract that, at this time, has not had the financial terms disclosed.  Jackson will anchor a young, yet strong, starting rotation in Washington that also features a returning phenom in Steven Strasburg.

Year Tm W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/BB
2003 LAD 2 1 2.45 4 3 0 0 22.0 17 6 6 2 11 19 1.273 1.73
2004 LAD 2 1 7.30 8 5 0 0 24.2 31 20 20 7 11 16 1.703 1.45
2005 LAD 2 2 6.28 7 6 0 0 28.2 31 22 20 2 17 13 1.674 0.76
2006 TBD 0 0 5.45 23 1 0 0 36.1 42 27 22 2 25 27 1.844 1.08
2007 TBD 5 15 5.76 32 31 1 1 161.0 195 116 103 19 88 128 1.758 1.45
2008 TBR 14 11 4.42 32 31 0 0 183.1 199 91 90 23 77 108 1.505 1.40
2009 DET 13 9 3.62 33 33 1 0 214.0 200 93 86 27 70 161 1.262 2.30
2010 TOT 10 12 4.47 32 32 1 1 209.1 214 111 104 21 78 181 1.395 2.32
2010 ARI 6 10 5.16 21 21 1 1 134.1 141 80 77 13 60 104 1.496 1.73
2010 CHW 4 2 3.24 11 11 0 0 75.0 73 31 27 8 18 77 1.213 4.28
2011 TOT 12 9 3.79 32 31 1 1 199.2 225 92 84 16 62 148 1.437 2.39
2011 CHW 7 7 3.92 19 19 1 1 121.2 134 55 53 8 39 97 1.422 2.49
2011 STL 5 2 3.58 13 12 0 0 78.0 91 37 31 8 23 51 1.462 2.22
9 Seasons 60 60 4.46 203 173 4 3 1079.0 1154 578 535 119 439 801 1.476 1.82
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/2/2012.

The Nationals take a very calculated gamble with Jackson.  Should he continue to produce the way he has in his career, he will benefit the team and quite likely become a ranked free agent next off season, landing them a draft pick as well.  Jackson, on the other hand, looks towards the winter of 2012 to provide him, hopefully, with a greater chance at a much larger contract.

The Cardinals took their gamble last July.  It might just pay off.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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