After starting the 2017 season in the Baltimore Orioles organization, the 34-year-old Jackson, a member of the Nationals’ first playoff team in 2012, rejoined Washington on a minor league deal in June. He pitched in five games for Class AAA Syracuse before replacing the injured Joe Ross in the Nationals’ rotation following the all-star break in July. He enjoyed a brief renaissance, posting a 2.94 ERA in his first eight starts, but pitched to a 9.82 ERA over his final five outings.
Jackson figures to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation in spring training if the Nationals don’t acquire a bona fide starter by then. Starters still available on the free agent market include Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb. Gerrit Cole and Chris Archer could potentially be had in a trade.
A.J. Cole, Erick Fedde and Tommy Milone, who also recently signed a minor league deal, are other in-house options to fill the vacancy left by Ross, who had Tommy John surgery in July, if the Nationals are done adding, which is likely not the case.