In desperate need of another reliable starting pitcher, the Blue Jays went out yesterday and traded for veteran hurler Edwin Jackson in exchange for cash considerations.
It isn’t the first time Jackson has been traded for or signed in a pinch to rescue a rotation. In fact, Jackson has probably lost count as to the number of teams over the years who’ve acquired him to bolster a rotation in serious need of assistance.
Having played with 13 different ball clubs throughout his 16-year big league career (14 now if you include the Blue Jays), it’s strange that such a solid starting pitcher has moved around as much as he has.
This, however, isn’t the first time the Blue Jays have traded for Jackson. Back in 2011, Toronto acquired the big right-hander from the White Sox, only to trade him later that same day to St.Louis in the Colby Rasmus trade. I remember being somewhat disappointed when the Blue Jays parted with Jackson as quickly as they did. In those days, although just 27 years of age, Jackson had already accumulated 161 starts and was a reliable power pitcher.
At the time of the trade eight years ago, Toronto probably figured they needed a starting centerfielder (Rasmus) more than another young starting pitcher. Of which they had a good number already. Including Ricky Romero (26), Brandon Morrow (26), Brett Cecil (24), Kyle Drabek (23), Carlos Villanueva (27), and Henderson Alvarez (21).
This time around, with injuries aplenty afflicting their starting pitchers, the Blue Jays will undoubtedly need Jackson to help stabilize their rotation. What Toronto will be asking of Jackson is similar to what Oakland asked of him last year. Signed in the middle of the 2018 season (June 6) after the Athletics rotation was decimated by injuries. Jackson ended up giving Oakland 17 starts, going 6-3, with a respectable 3.33 ERA.
Having only re-signed with Oakland to a minor-league deal one month ago, Jackson has yet to pitch in the majors this season and struggled in three minor league starts (14.2 IP, 6.75 ERA). Despite such limited playing time, look for Jackson to be pressed into action by the Blue Jays and expected to fine-tune his game with the big club.