Was Edwin Jackson The Best Signing Of The Offseason?

By Mark Hock

Entering free agency Edwin Jackson should have been considered one of the top prizes in free agency. He was a starting pitcher in his prime, entering the 2012 season at age 28. Jackson had proven he was quite durable, throwing at least 199 innings over the past three seasons. Jackson was able to keep the ball on the ground, strike out a fair number of hitters, and limit the walks – all things a pitcher needs to do to succeed.

And yet despite all of this, Edwin Jackson was only able to score a one year deal with the Washington Nationals. It’s not like his numbers were bad, as he went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. He would have been fairly cheap compared to some of the other pitchers that were signed in the offseason, and it was extremely strange that Jackson had to settle for a one year deal.

As I argued earlier in the offseason Edwin Jackson might have been the biggest bargain during the offseason. Three months into the 2012 season, it’s hard to argue that anybody has provided a better bang for the buck then Jackson. He’s 4-4 with a 2.91 ERA while pitching for the Nationals. His win loss record doesn’t reflect how dominant he’s been, as he’s quietly been one of the better pitchers in the National League.

Edwin Jackson is a potential free agent heading into this season, but once again he might not be able to strike a good contract. The top starters for next years free agency include Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke and Brandon McCarthy. It’s very rare to hear about Edwin Jackson, who will enter free agency coming off another strong season.

It’s not just in free agency where Jackson’s name isn’t very popular amongst the casual fans. The Washington Nationals pitching staff is one of the best in baseball, but all we hear about are Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. And with good reason – they’ve both been fantastic for the Nationals. But I think it’s about time we give some credit to Edwin Jackson, who has put together a fantastic 2012 season. A player on a one year deal is always a bargain, and given his performance to this point it’s looking like Edwin Jackson has been the best free agent signing made in the offseason.

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