Edwin Jackson’s last appearance of the season for the Nationals came in relief in the seventh inning in Friday’s Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Jackson, a man of many teams, signed a one-year, $11 million deal to come to the Nationals. Now he is facing the possibility of searching for another.
Jackson, 29, is eligible for free agency but is interested in staying in Washington if the terms are agreeable. He grew close with his teammates. He was a capable No. 4 starter with some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in the majors. He would like to come back and is searching for a multi-year deal, he said. He has played for seven different teams and traded six times.
“It’s just a matter of both sides, myself and the organization coming to terms of agreement,” he said. “When that situation presents itself, we’ll handle it.”
While Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and Stephen Strasburg are under team control for several years, the Nationals will need another starter. There isn’t a major league-ready starter in the minor leagues at the moment.
Jackson was signed because of his veteran experience and ability to eat up innings, and with the idea that he could help carry the load once Strasburg was shut down later in the season. He made all of his starts, throwing 189 2/3 innings over 31 starts and posting a 4.03 ERA, the highest of the rotation. He posted a career best 1.218 WHIP and second-highest strikeout total with 168.
Seventeen of his 31 starts were quality starts (at least six innings pitched and three earned runs or less), on par with starters like Miami’s Mark Buerhle and Cincinnati’s Mat Latos. His 4.03 ERA was 58th best in the majors, similar to Arizona’s Ian Kennedy and Baltimore’s Joe Saunders.
“This is definitely a group of guys that I’ve jelled with,” Jackson said. “And I definitely wouldn’t mind coming back. We’ve had a fun year. I mean everyone has pretty much gotten to know each other real well. And we have fun out there, battling with each other.”
He wouldn’t say definitely but he suggested there might have been preliminary conversations about a deal.
“Possibly,” he said. “But like I always say, going into free agency you’re not really sure of their plans. But they have great pitchers here. If I wasn’t here, they have five guys that they can run out and still feel comfortable with. But as the offseason transpires, we’ll definitely see what happens.”