Edwin Jackson apparently wants five years at $15 million per. No one really wants to pay that. Including the Yankees, who have — to the surprise of many — decided to actually operate like a business as opposed to Richard Pryor in “Brewster’s Millions” this offseason. Imagine.
But the fact is that the Yankees could use a starter and Jackson — maybe realizing that his price is a bit high — kinda needs a baseball team to hire him. So it’s not terribly surprising, then, that Scott Boras met with Hal Steinbrenner recently to discuss E-Jax, which he will regrettably be called a lot more often if he does sign with the Yankees.
No matter what the rate, it’s going to be hard for any team — and any fan base — to swallow Jackson on a long term deal. There’s a reason he has floated from team to team. It’s not because of his talent, which is considerable. When he’s on he’s electric. But he’s not always on. He’s erratic and when he’s bad he’s really hard to watch and it just depresses the living hell out of you. I’d love for him to put it all together and go on a nice 4-5 year run of superior pitching, but I have a hard time seeing that now.
But he will sign someplace. If the Yankees and Boras are talking, it may be in New York. And, hopefully, it will be at a much more reasonable rate than the last one we heard he was demanding.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.