It was recently reported that Edwin Jackson had a few multi-year contract offers. "Finally," one thought, "the market for Edwin Jackson is heating up. It's about damn time."
About those multi-year contract offers, though - Jackson might not take one of them. From Dan Connolly:
Accdg to source, Edwin Jackson much more likely to sign 1yr deal than multiyr & clubs r being told that. Not good news for #Orioles
The term that's been thrown around is "pillow contract." Jackson could sign a one-year contract for a soft landing before trying the market again next fall. Maybe next fall, there's more interest. Maybe next fall, there's more money.
One can ask how much Jackson stands to gain. He's started at least 31 games five years in a row. He's coming off a 3.79 ERA. It's hard to imagine that Jackson's performance will improve substantially in 2012, and so it's hard to imagine that Jackson will be more valuable in a year than he is now. But if the market now is weak, and if the market a year from now could be stronger, then that's a consideration. Also a consideration is, who would want to sign with the Orioles?
Jackson's been linked to the Red Sox, who supposedly prefer him over Roy Oswalt. One the one hand, Boston wouldn't exactly be a soft landing for Jackson, what with the ballpark and the division. On the other hand, Boston would offer an excellent chance of going deep in the playoffs, and maybe Jackson could improve his postseason resume.
Boston isn't the only team who would have interest in Jackson on a one-year deal, of course. On a one-year deal, Jackson would make sense for pretty much everybody.
We'll see where this goes. I remember speculation that Prince Fielder would sign a one-year pillow contract, and then he got $214 million. Fielder is represented by Scott Boras, and Jackson is represented by Scott Boras. Boras might still pull $60 million or $70 million out of his bag of tricks. Jackson's a lot more likely to sign for a year than Fielder ever was, though, and Jackson for one year would probably be a pretty good value.