EJax is eerily similar to Matt Garza
Despite the clear need for a starting pitcher, most Yankee fans want no part of Edwin Jackson. Despite the fact that he’s been a solid pitcher with great stuff and a chance to improve at the age of 28, he isn’t attractive to the Yankees because of his perceived cost.
Scott Boras is looking for a 5 yr deal for around $15M per season which based on the contracts given to Burnett, Lackey, D.Lowe, Buehrle & CJ Wilson, is pretty much what the price has been on the Free Agent market. That being said, all of those contracts were colossal busts with the exception of Buehrle & Wilson where the stories have yet to be written. So no one is knocking down the door for Jackson at that price.
If I had to guess I’d say he’ll have to come down to 4 yrs @ $11-12M to find interest. However, even that is more than the Yanks want to spend because of the payroll flexibility they’d like to maintain heading into 2014. That being the case, perhaps there’s room for compromise that helps all 3 parties – Yankees, Boras & EJackson.
What if the Yankees offered $15M per season for 2 years? Boras gets the $15M he asked for, Jackson pockets $30M and re-enters Free Agency at still young age of 30 and the Yanks get a #3 starter with #2 potential while still not touching their 2014 Payroll.
I’m not excited by the prospect of Jackson and $15M is more than I’d be comfortable paying him, but for only 2 years it’s not a bad idea. Let’s do a quick comparison of Jackson and Yankee trade target Matt Garza over the last 3 years:
Comparing stuff, Jackson averages 94.5 MPH on his Fastball and throws a nasty 87 MPH Slider, which is his best pitch. He throws a 2-seamer and mixes in a Change & Curveball about 11% of the time.
Garza is a little more well-rounded but averages 93.7 MPH on his Fastball and throws an 86 MPH Slider as his out pitch. He also throws a 2-seamer and mixes in the Change & Curve slightly more at 23%, although neither are effective pitches.
So their numbers are nearly identical, they were born 2 months apart and their stuff is very similar too. What would be the difference in cost?
Garza will likely earn a combined $21M over the next 2 years in arbitration before becoming a Free Agent. From what we hear, he would also cost 1 or both of Banuelos & Betances plus more in a trade.
If you could get Jackson at a cost of $30M over the next 2 years and KEEP Banuelos & Betances, wouldn’t that be a much better scenario? You could also even out the costs by picking up$24M of AJ Burnet’s contract to dump him on someone. That would save the $9M difference and make the net cost of Jackson the same $21M that Garza would make.
I like Garza as a pitcher and think he’s tougher and a better all-around pitcher. But Jackson’s stuff and nearly identical numbers as Garza over the last 3 years is hard to ignore. I know the chances of Jackson accepting a 2 yr $30M deal are slim but if it comes down to accept a 4 yr-$40M deal with Baltimore or a 2yr-$30M deal with New York, which would you choose? Boras has done the unconventional before and last yr steered Rafael Soriano to the Yanks as a set-up man on a closer’s deal. It’s not entirely impossible.
I’m not sure this is a good idea but it’s food for thought. Would you be interested in EJax for 2 years?