On Going After Edwin Jackson

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Count the Mariners among the teams interested in Tigers right-hander Edwin Jackson.

The teams have spoken about Jackson and exchanged names, but the talks “are not all that serious,” according to one source with knowledge of the discussions.

Jackson, 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA last season, would be a strong complement to ace right-hander Felix Hernandez in the Mariners’ rotation.The Tigers, sources say, are seeking minimum-salary pitching for Jackson, whose salary will rise from $2.2 million in arbitration.

Mariners right-handers Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley both fit that description, and are the types of hard throwers favored by Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski.”

from Ken Rosenthal surfaced the other day, there’s been a lot of speculation in the Mariners blogosphere concerning potential trades with the Tigers. A lot of this speculation has also been focused on Curtis Granderson, but I’m not going to get into that right now – I want to focus on Jackson.

As we know, Jack Zduriencik was extremely close to acquiring Jackson from Tampa Bay in a trade last off season, but that didn’t happen, and he ended up having an impressive season with Detroit.

However, he’s apparently available again this off season, and the Mariners are interested. So, would he be worth seriously going after?

Although he wasn’t quite as good as his 3.62 ERA in 2009, he was still pretty good, as indicated by his 4.28 FIP and 4.75 tRA. Yeah, he was lucky, with a fairly low BABIP and a fairly high LOB%, but he was still an above average starter, and we really need a decent #2 to compliment Felix.

Other things we know about Jackson: He’s generally a fly ball pitcher, and while that hurt him in Detroit, it would benefit him in Seattle, and although we don’t know exactly how much he’ll earn, we know that his salary will be rising from $2.2 million with arbitration. Here, the money isn’t really significant, as whatever that figure is will be manageable considering our financial situation.

When it comes down to it, Jackson’s far from an ace, but he could certainly provide some assistance in one of our weakest areas, quality starting pitching. Sure, we’ve got plenty of starters, but the vast majority of them are young, back of the rotation arms (Vargas, Olson, Fister, Morrow, French, etc.). Potentially, Jackson could probably fit nicely into the #2 spot, behind Felix and in front of RRS.

However, there’s a real good chance that a deal involving Jackson only occurs if there are other players coming to the Mariners. Not only that, but both sides would need to agree on a deal, and it’s fairly unclear as to what the Mariners would be willing to give up, whether it be Morrow, Jose Lopez (unlikely unless we’re getting significantly more than just Jackson), bullpen arms, or maybe even Saunders if Granderson is involved.

As with most of these rumors, at this stage, it’s all speculation, so try not to torture yourselves.