Earlier today, the Nationals won their arbitration case with John Lannan, resulting in a $5 million non-guaranteed contract for the left handed starter. Almost immediately afterwards, rumours began spreading that Lannan was on the trade block and that the money Washington would save by trading him would go toward signing Jackson.
No word has leaked on whether or not Lannan has been traded, so as of right now, the Nationals’ rotation will look something like this: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzlez, Jackson, Jordan Zimmermann with the final spot up for grabs between Lannan, Chien-Ming Wong and Ross Detwiler.
As for the deal with Jackson, it represents far less of a pay day than the one that the right handed starter likely envisioned at the beginning of the off season. After rumours that his original asking price was in the five year for $65 million range, a combination of waiting too long to sign a deal and general lack of interest resulted in this one year contract.
Making matters even worse for Jackson is that next year’s free agent class could potentially include superior pitchers like Matt Cain, Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels, significantly reducing the chance of a bidding war erupting for his services.
Remarkably, Jackson has averaged 208 innings per season over the course of a nine year career in which he’s pitched for six different teams. The 28 year old’s repertoire includes a 95 miles per hour four seam fastball, an 88 miles per hour slider that he throws a lot of, as well as a 94 miles per hour two seam fastball and an 87 miles per hour change up that he rarely uses.
As a Type B free agent, Jackson brings the St. Louis Cardinals a supplemental pick in the 2012 draft.