Today the Washington Nationals swooped in and signed pitcher Edwin Jackson to a one-year deal in the $10 million range, according to multiple reports. This is noteworthy for a number of reasons, all of them tenuous:
- The Nationals were not a player for Matt Garza, so their signing Jackson away from teams who theoretically *would* be interested in Garza is a good thing, as far as the Garza market goes.
- The Nationals are now “aggressively shopping” pitcher John Lannan (whom they just beat in arbitration (he’ll make $5 million in 2012)). The 27-year-old lefty is under control for two more years, and has been a decent back-end option for a number of years (ERA+ of 110, 109, 87, 104 in the last four years). It seems unlikely that the Cubs would go after Lannan, what with their six to nine-man rotation as it is, but his availability does impact the market for Garza. Whatever is gained by Jackson signing could be lost by Lannan’s presence as a much cheaper trade option.
- The Nationals are still reportedly looking for a center fielder, so I suppose it’s possible there could be a Byrd-for-Lannan angle here, but the Cubs would have to figure out what they’re going to do with the rest of their rotation before taking on yet another decent-but-not-great mid-20s starter. There is a sabermetrically-supported theory out there that lefties have more success at Wrigley than righties, though, so maybe the Cubs would rather have Lannan than, say, Randy Wells.
- Jackson started out the Winter looking for about four years and $48 million. He is represented by Scott Boras.
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