Royals Starting Pitcher Target: Edwin Jackson

Name: Edwin Jackson, 28 year old RHP with the Cardinals

Contract: Free Agent at the end of season.  Made 4.2M in 2010 and 8.35M in 2011.  He eould probably be looking for a 3-5 year deal. I don't see many teams offering him more than 3 years. He has averaged over 3.5 WAR over the last 3 years. Assuming 5M per WAR, he could be looking for at least $45M/3 year deal (3 WAR talent over the 3 years). If he is a 2.5 WAR pitcher (3/2.5/2 WAR), the 3 year contract would be 37.5M.  

Pitches:

Fastballs: Used 55% to 65% - He has both a 4 finger and 2 finger fastball.  He is using it less in recently. It consistently averages around 94.5MPH.

Slider: Used around 25% of the time until 2011, when he began to use it 40% of the time. The White Sox noticed it was his most effective pitch and got him throwing it more.

Change Up: Used 10% of the time

Curve: Used it 2.5% of the time until 2011 when he ditched it completely. 

Here is is usage patter over the last few years:

1841_p_0_20110927_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

Results:

Year Team G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP GB% HR/FB% ERA FIP xFIP WAR
2006 Devil Rays 23 1 36.1 6.7 6.2 0.5 0.336 52% 5.4% 5.45 4.52 5.24 0.2
2007 Devil Rays 32 31 161.0 7.2 4.9 1.1 0.341 45% 10.2% 5.76 4.90 4.82 1.5
2008 Rays 32 31 183.1 5.3 3.8 1.1 0.302 39% 9.6% 4.42 4.88 4.97 1.3
2009 Tigers 33 33 214.0 6.8 2.9 1.1 0.276 39% 9.9% 3.62 4.28 4.32 3.6
2010 2 Teams 32 32 209.1 7.8 3.4 0.9 0.313 49% 10.6% 4.47 3.86 3.71 3.8
2011 2 Teams 32 31 199.2 6.7 2.8 0.7 0.330 44% 8.2% 3.79 3.55 3.73 3.8

He looks to have a K/9 in the upper 6's with a BB/9 round 3.0.  He keeps the ball in the ball park at a league average rate. His talent looks to be be a bit better than any other starter on the Royals except possibly Paulino.

Injury History:

2004: Forearm injury (missed 53 games)

2006: Head injury (missed 7 games)

His injury history is close to perfect.  One big red flag I have is his increase use of the slider. There is some work done that high slider usage leads to an increase injury risk.

Conclusions:

He would be an improvement over the current Royals starting pitchers.  He would eat up a ton of innings and gives consistent production over the years. His price, IMO, is probably a little too high for the Royals to afford.  I would probably max out a $36M/3 contract for him. With the lack of SP in the FA market, I think he will go for much more.

 

Other Royal Starting Pitching Targets:

Jair Jurrjens

Wandy Rodiguez

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