TORONTO — Already well-travelled, Edwin Jackson’s next stop is Toronto.
Seeking any sort of help to patch up an injury-ravaged rotation, the Blue Jays acquired the 35-year-old veteran from the Oakland Athletics on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations, and Jackson is likely to be thrown into the fire as early as next week’s series in San Francisco.
When Jackson pulls on his Jays threads, it’ll be the 14th major-league uniform the right-hander has worn — a new MLB record, breaking a tie with Octavio Dotel — in a career that started way back in 2003 as a 19-year-old top prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jackson was even a Blue Jay for a brief moment back in July 2011 when he was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart, only to be flipped to the St. Louis Cardinals that same day the trade that brought Colby Rasmus to Toronto.
As you can guess by the number of cities, Jackson’s career has been up and down, especially over the last few years.
After posting a 6.33 ERA in 27 starts for the Chicago Cubs in 2014, it looked like Jackson might be cooked, bouncing around for a few years until signing with the Athletics last season.
At the age of 35, Jackson experienced a renaissance, compiling a 3.33 ERA for the A’s in 92 innings, giving Oakland some much-needed rotation depth at the time.
That’s exactly what he’ll attempt to do a year later for the Jays, lending a hand to a rotation that’s lost, in order, Ryan Borucki (elbow), Clayton Richard (knee), Matt Shoemaker (knee) and, most recently, Clay Buchholz (shoulder).
It’s left Jays manager Charlie Montoyo with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, an up-and-down Trent Thornton, and not much else.
The Jays would love to get Stroman and Sanchez, two pitchers with recent track records of iffy health, an extra day here and there, as well.
“Ideally, but they’re feeling good physically right now,” pitching coach Pete Walker said. “We talk daily, obviously, and they’re all for staying on a normal routine and a five-day rotation. But, at some point, it would be nice to give them a blow, for sure.”
Whether Jackson is an upgrade on Thomas Pannone, Jacob Waguespack, Sean Reid-Foley, or anything else the Blue Jays have in Triple-A remains to be seen.
Since signing a minor-league deal to return to the A’s in mid-April, Jackson has struggled in a pair of Triple-A starts with the Las Vegas Aviators, allowing nine earned runs in 9.2 innings.
But the Jays don’t want to expose their youngsters to unnecessary poundings.They’d prefer to let veteran arms get beat up, and Jackson is first in line.