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Tag:Edwin Jackson
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:34 pm
 

The one-team player (and the nine-team player)

VIERA, Fla. -- Edwin Jackson is one year older than Ryan Zimmerman.

Jackson is on his seventh major-league team, eighth if you include the few minutes he was officially a Blue Jay between stops with the White Sox and Cardinals last summer. Zimmerman is still with his first.

Jackson has a one-year contract with the Nationals, so he could well be headed for a ninth team next year. Zimmerman just signed a contract that basically commits him to the Nationals for the rest of his career.

Zimmerman chose to stay with the same team. Jackson didn't exactly have a choice. He was traded for the first time when he was just 22 years old, then traded five more times before he became a free agent last fall.

So if you're one of those people bemoaning the player movement in the modern game, just remember that there are still quite a few players who want to play an entire career with one team.

And just remember that it's often not the player's choice when it doesn't happen.

"People don't realize that it's got to be a two-way street," Zimmerman said Monday.

Zimmerman said he has spent time talking to Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki, two other players who are headed to long one-team careers. They're not alone; it's obvious by now that Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera won't be playing for anyone but the Yankees, just as Jorge Posada retired last month as a one-team player.

Zimmerman is just 27, but he should end up doing the same. His new contract binds him to the Nationals through 2019, with an option for 2020, and with no-trade protection that he demanded as part of the deal.

He was determined to stay.

"I'm so comfortable here," Zimmerman said. "I think that helps you play better."

Jackson, who chose a one-year deal with the Nationals over three-year offers elsewhere, said he's just as comfortable moving around.

"I've been moving my whole life," said Jackson, whose father was in the military. "I was born on the move. It's almost like it was predestined."

As his manager would tell him, it's not always a bad thing. Davey Johnson chose to sign with the Orioles in the days before there was a draft, but the Orioles traded him to the Braves after eight years. He later played with the Phillies and Cubs, and he has managed five different teams.

"I know exactly where [Zimmerman] is coming from," Johnson said. "A big part of me would be envious. But I also like change, and I like challenges.

"I'm glad that he's glad."


Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:37 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 10:57 am
 

With Jackson, Nationals are trying to win now

The Nationals were already going to be one of the more interesting teams to watch this year.

Now it's time to wonder if they could actually win.

They think so, and it's why they committed money to sign Edwin Jackson to a one-year, $11 million contract, as CBSSports.com colleague Jon Heyman first reported Thursday afternoon.

Jackson joins a Nationals rotation that already featured young stars Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, and already added Gio Gonzalez this winter. The Nationals also have John Lannan, Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler, although they could now look to trade one of them this spring.

It's not Halladay-Lee-Hamels, but it is huge progress for a team that as recently as 2009 had the fourth highest rotation ERA in baseball.

But is it good enough, especially in a division that could be the most competitive in baseball?

The Phillies are still the National League's elite team, even though they haven't been to the World Series the last two years. The Braves are still very strong, even though they collapsed last September.

And the Marlins are still the team that dominated the first part of this offseason, adding Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell.

Still, Nationals people are quietly -- and sometimes not so quietly -- optimistic, to the point of believing that they could make a charge for the playoffs this year.

"If the two middle infielders (Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa) get better, and if the catcher (Wilson Ramos) gets better, we could have a heck of a team," one Nats person said to me this week.

And if Bryce Harper is ready?

Obviously, the Nationals think Harper could be a difference-maker, if he's ready for the big leagues at age 19. Even if he isn't completely ready, one Nationals person said, "He can help you win even while he's still learning."

If Harper does make it to the opening day roster, the Nationals would move Jayson Werth to center field, a position he played some in Philadelphia and also for 19 games last year in Washington. The long-term plan, then, would be to add a true center fielder next winter, move Werth to left field and move Mike Morse to first base (where Adam LaRoche will play this year).

The Nationals didn't get everything they wanted this winter. Their top pitching target was Buehrle, who chose the Marlins instead. They were in on the Prince Fielder bidding, although it appears now that they were behind the Tigers, Dodgers and perhaps another team.

But they beat out a crowded field to get Gonzalez from the A's, and now they have Jackson, a hard-throwing 28-year-old who has made an All-Star team and pitched in a World Series.

When Werth signed with the Nationals 14 months ago, there was a thought he was going from the best team in the league to a team with little chance to win. Now, just a year later, the Phillies may still be the best team, but the Nationals could well have a chance to win, too.

They certainly believe they could.

Another way to think of the Jackson signing: The Red Sox arguably needed a starting pitcher more than the Nationals did, but the Nationals were apparently willing to commit more money to get one. The Boston Globe reported that the Sox offered Jackson just $5-6 million on a one-year deal; his deal with the Nationals is for twice that.

The Red Sox rotation is very strong at the top, with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz, but very questionable at the end, with converted reliever Daniel Bard, swing man Alfredo Aceves and the questionable Vicente Padilla, Carlos Silva and Aaron Cook as the other options.

Boston badly wanted to sign another starter, but Jackson is now out of the picture, and it appears that Roy Oswalt will hold out for a chance to go to one of his two favored teams, the Cardinals or the Rangers.




Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:01 pm
 

What's next for Tigers? Maybe Cespedes


The Prince Fielder signing should push the Tigers' 2012 payroll up over $130 million.

Is there any money left?

Could be, but the Tigers are unlikely to spend it on a full-time designated hitter, or on a fifth-starter candidate who would require a guaranteed major-league contract.

They might, according to sources, still try to spend it on Yoenis Cespedes.

While the team has basically ruled out going after someone like Johnny Damon or Edwin Jackson, the Tigers remain interested in Cespedes, the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder who became a free agent Wednesday. The Tigers have been among the teams showing the most interest in Cespedes, and have had conversations about him with agent Adam Katz.

Cespedes, if he proves ready for the big leagues right away, could play left field, with Delmon Young moving to more of a full-time DH role. For now, the Tigers plan to have Young share left field and DH with Andy Dirks, Don Kelly and Clete Thomas, with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera also seeing a few days as DH.

The Tigers had worked hard to try to add another starter before turning their attention to Fielder late last week. They met Roy Oswalt's asking price, sources said, only to be told by Oswalt that he wouldn't agree to come to Detroit (even after a recruiting phone call from Justin Verlander).

The focus now is on veteran starters who would require less of a commitment, with the possibility that the Tigers don't add anyone before spring training begins. They could then audition Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver, Drew Smyly and others, and then search the trade market if they're not satisfied with what they see.

We've already seen that they're willing to be bold, and that the owner is willing to spend.

When Mike Ilitch told his baseball people that he was willing to make the huge commitment to Fielder, he explained it simply.

"I think the city needs it," Ilitch said. "I think we need it. I think our players need it."


Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:36 pm
 

Red Sox like Oswalt, but does he like them?

The Red Sox like Roy Oswalt. But is the feeling mutual?

The Sox, sources say, have made a significant offer to the free-agent right-hander. Oswalt has yet to accept, raising some doubt about his interest in going to Boston.

Oswalt already told the Tigers he wasn't interested in going to Detroit, sources said, and even a recruiting phone call from Justin Verlander didn't sway him. While he may not have given the Red Sox as definite a "no," it is thought that he would prefer teams closer to his home state of Mississippi.

Oswalt has long shown interest in going to the Cardinals, but it's unclear how interested the Cardinals are in him. The Rangers had interest in him earlier in the winter, but they have since added Yu Darvish to their rotation. The Reds were also thought to be a team that Oswalt would like, but they traded for Mat Latos.

The 34-year-old Oswalt spent most of his career with the Astros, then accepted a trade to the Phillies at midseason 2010. He went 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 35 starts for the Phils.

The Red Sox would like to add another starting pitcher before spring training, but the options right now seem to be limited. Edwin Jackson is the only other significant free-agent starter on the market, and the Red Sox have talked to him, too. The Red Sox have also talked to the White Sox about Gavin Floyd, but were turned off by the asking price and it seems that a deal for him is unlikely.


Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Darvish is gone, but plenty of starters available

Among teams and agents with starting pitching for sale, there was some hope that the Yu Darvish decision would spur movement in a market that has been slow to develop.

That could still happen. But for now, there is still so much pitching available that it's hard to understand why any team would feel the need to panic.

The free-agent market still offers Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt, among others.

On the trade market, Jair Jurrjens, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, Wandy Rodriguez, Matt Garza and more are all believed by other teams to be available, albeit at what buyers still consider to be inflated prices. Even with Mat Latos already having gone to the Reds, John Danks signing an extension with the White Sox and Gio Gonzalez gone to the Nationals, it's a long list (and others such as the Mets' Jon Niese are also out there, along with longer-shot names like James Shields).

Compare that to last July 31, when the Tigers were able to trade for Doug Fister and the Indians got Ubaldo Jimenez, but many teams trying to deal for pitching found no one of real value available.

Now, the question is the high cost in prospects, at least based on what the Padres and A's got for Latos and Gonzalez. Meanwhile, the Red Sox, Marlins, Blue Jays, Royals, Tigers, Mariners, Yankees, Rockies, Orioles and others are hoping to add at least one more starter this winter.

And the market is still so fluid that one person who talked to the Red Sox this week reported back that they are "in on everybody."

In part because so many pitchers are still available, many rival officials continue to think that the Padres did very well in what they got from the Reds for Latos, who is young (24), cheap (not even arbitration-eligible yet), controllable (can't be a free agent until 2016) and talented, but also is regarded as having questionable makeup.

The Reds would no doubt argue that the price for any top pitching remains high, and for now it does.

The question is where the market goes from here, particularly with so many pitchers available.


Posted on: August 7, 2011 7:44 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2011 7:45 pm
 

3 to Watch: The new rivalry edition

You're tired of Yankees-Red Sox.

You tell us that all the time. There are other teams. There are other rivalries.

There's Cardinals-Cubs. No, wait. Not this year.

There's Cardinals-Reds. No, wait. Not this month.

There's Cardinals-Brewers.

Let's go with that one, especially this week. Let's see if Ron Roenicke complains about the lights at Busch Stadium (as Tony La Russa did last week in Milwaukee). Let's see if anybody throws up and in to Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun (as happened last week), or even perhaps to Yuniesky Betancourt.

Let's see if any of the Cardinals fight -- with the Brewers, or with each other (as also happened last week).

And let's see if the Brewers can take control of the National League Central, or if the Cardinals can keep the race close.

Cardinals-Brewers may not have the history of Yankees-Red Sox, but right now it has a lot more emotion. And a lot more at stake, because unlike the Yanks and Sox, neither of these teams is close to being guaranteed a playoff spot.

Besides, Cardinals-Brewers has La Russa, just as those every one of those other National League Central rivalries did.

"The Cardinals seem to be the common thread is all these things," Lance Berkman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week.

He's right, and there are at least two reasons for that.

First, the Cardinals have had a winning record 11 of the last 12 years, so they're almost always in the race to the end. Second, they have La Russa, the manager who gets a lot of credit for all that winning but also for all that anger.

The Cardinals had some history with the Brewers, even before last week's eventful series at Miller Park.

The Cardinals see the Brewers as kids who don't take the game seriously and don't know how to win. The Brewers see the Cardinals as bullies who don't like to have fun.

It's a rivalry, and for now, it's the best we're going to get.

The Yankees and Red Sox don't play again for another three weeks.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. The Giants have lost eight of 10. The Pirates have lost 10 in a row. The Giants can barely score a run. The Pirates have allowed as many runs in the last 10 games as any team has in any 10-game span this year. The Giants have a very real chance to be in the playoffs. The Pirates have a very real chance to finish the year with a losing record -- again. And if the Pirates don't win a game in the series that begins with Pirates at Giants, Monday night (10:15 ET) at AT&T Park, they'll equal their longest losing streak in 56 years.

2. The Brewers traded for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum last winter. The Cardinals traded for Edwin Jackson this summer. Marcum and Jackson meet up in Brewers at Cardinals, Tuesday night (8:15 ET) at Busch Stadium. Last week in Milwaukee, Jackson allowed 10 runs in seven innings on a day when the Cardinals had a tired bullpen. A day earlier, Marcum allowed six runs in six innings, leaving with a 7-6 lead that the Brewer bullpen couldn't hold.

3. Detroit and Cleveland are close enough geographically to be rivals (2 1/2 hours by car, ballpark to ballpark). The problem is that they've basically never been good at the same time. When the Tigers were winning in the '80s, the Indians were losing 100 games. When the Indians won 99 games in 1996, the Tigers lost 109. The Indians were good in the mid-1950s, and the Tigers were good in the late 1960s. They finished 1-2 in the American League Central in 2007, but that race was never really close in September. Maybe this one will be, especially if Ubaldo Jimenez makes a difference. Jimenez, who makes his Indians home debut in Tigers at Indians, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Progressive Field, already owns a win over Detroit this year. He gave up three runs in five innings in a June start for the Rockies in Colorado, winning 5-4. The Indians need Jimenez to pitch like an ace. The Tigers already have an ace, Justin Verlander, who starts against the Indians on Thursday



Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

The stat guys will wonder how the Cardinals could ever trade Colby Rasmus, who is 24 years old and ranked just behind Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Ryan Braun in OPS+ last year.

I'm wondering if the Cardinals just made the move that puts them in position to win the National League Central.

I'm not convinced, but I do know that the Cardinals had to improve their bullpen if they were going to have any chance to top the Brewers, Reds and even the Pirates in the bunched-up NL Central race. They did that already, and as CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller reports, the Cardinals remain engaged with the Padres in an effort to acquire closer Heath Bell.

By acquiring Edwin Jackson (who the Blue Jays got from the White Sox Wednesday morning), the Cardinals could move Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen, where he had so much success last year. They also acquired veteran right-hander Octavio Dotel and young lefty Marc Rzepczynski from the Blue Jays, adding significant depth to a bullpen that is tied for second in the majors in most blown saves.

"Dotel is pitching good," said one scout who watched him in the last week. "He's not what he once was, but his velocity is up, and his slider is sharper."

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals tried to obtain James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson in exchange for Rasmus, but the Rays held tight to their decision not to move either one. Strauss reported that the Cardinals turned down a package of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell, before settling on the Jackson-plus-bullpen-help package from the Blue Jays.

For Toronto, the Rasmus trade is another example of buying low on a top talent, much as the Jays did last year when they sent Alex Gonzalez to the Braves for Yunel Escobar. Escobar was an out-of-favor talent, much as Rasmus is now.

Rasmus feuded each of the past two years with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, and the word around the Cards was that Albert Pujols wasn't fond of him, either. As talented as Rasmus is, it was starting to appear that things would never work out for him in St. Louis, much as it appeared things wouldn't work out for Escobar in Atlanta.

Jackson is headed for free agency at the end of the year, and Dotel is 37 years old, so it's not as if the Cardinals were dealing with the future in mind. But with a team that is built to win now, and with Pujols in the final year of his contract, the Cardinals are understandably focused much more on 2011 than on 2012 and the future.


Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:44 pm
 

White Sox: All-in or white flag?

As of this very moment, the White Sox are going for it.

By the end of the week, who knows?

The Wednesday trade that sent Edwin Jackson to Toronto (and then on to St. Louis) fit the White Sox either way, as buyers or sellers. They unloaded Jackson, a free-agent-to-be who wasn't going to be re-signed, but added Jason Frasor, providing needed help for the overworked Jesse Crain on the right side of their bullpen, and got a top pitching prospect in Zach Stewart, as well.

The bigger question is what happens next, and the answer, according to multiple sources familiar with the White Sox plans, is that we'll have to wait and see.

One scenario: The Sox decide that they're too far behind the Tigers (4 1/2 games entering play Wednesday), or that this team is not going to win in October, anyway. In that case, the Sox try to turn over their roster, making players such as John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Carlos Quentin available in advance of Sunday's non-waiver deadline.

The other scenario: The Sox decide that this division is too winnable for them to give up now, and that this is still basically the same team that they thought could win when the season began. In that case, the Sox keep their team together, and go for it.

Jackson was expendable, because the development of Phil Humber gave the White Sox a six-man rotation. Mark Teahen, the other player traded to Toronto, was even more expendable.

This wasn't a white flag trade. The others would be, and the question the White Sox must ask in the next few days is whether it's time to raise it.

There's no doubt that the White Sox are frustrated with what has been the most disappointing team in the game in the first half of the season. There's no doubt that they're starting to question whether this group has what it takes to win.

There's also no doubt that they realize they're in a weak division, and that their starting pitching could still make them an October threat.

The White Sox are playing the first-place Tigers again on Wednesday afternoon. They play the Red Sox at home this weekend while the Tigers host the Angels (remember, the White Sox swept the Red Sox at Fenway at the end of May).

By Sunday, the White Sox could be a virtual tie with the Tigers for first place. Or they could be as many as nine games out.

That's why by Sunday, Danks, Floyd and Quentin could join Jackson on the way out the door. Or they could be going for it in Chicago.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com