Edwin Jackson, the Qualifying Offer, and the Cubs
There seems to exist among some, astonishment as to why the Nationals would not make a qualifying offer to Edwin Jackson as he was obviously going to be seeking a multi-year deal. As talks have ramped up between he and the Cubs for a 4 year $52 million deal the masses continue to be perplexed. Baseball is not complicated. It is much closer to connect the dots than rocket science. So, why might the Washington Nationals not be willing to offer Edwin Jackson a qualifying offer?
Beginning with the facts as known to us, the first and primary thing to do is to forget about any subsequent offers that came in for the services of Edwin Jackson. At the time the qualifying offer had to be made he was the sole property of the Washington Nationals and unable to negotiate with any other organizations. Upon laying $13.3 million in front of Edwin Jackson there existed a fear among those in the Nationals organization that Jackson would accept. This fear existed because a year earlier Jackson turned down multi-year offers from the Orioles and Pirates in order to play for the Nationals.
At that time Jackson made the assumption that the Nationals gave him the better chance to win, and as the Nationals won 98 games he was rewarded for these thoughts. With even greater evidence of being guaranteed to play for a winner the qualifying offer is not just a financial temptation but also one of satisfaction in the competitive nature of Edwin Jackson.
There is also the fact that Jackson had just finished a season playing for the Washington Nationals. With as much time as Jackson spent with and around his teammates a level of comfort must have grown and it can be assumed that Jackson had developed a kinship with one or more members of the team. Jackson had financial, competitive, and personal reasons to accept a qualifying offer if one were to be placed in front of him.
From the other side of the argument, the Nationals were finished with Edwin Jackson. Jackson is a fine pitcher and has always put up decent numbers, but it is hard to get past the fact that Jackson has never lived up to his potential. The final product is still good, but how those final numbers are reached is frustrating to witness in real time. Jackson is just as likely to take the mound and pitch a shutout as he is to be done after one inning. There is a level of discomfort that follows this type of inconsistency and why the Nationals were a .387 team when Jackson pitched.
That brings us to our conclusion. As the Nationals were done with Edwin Jackson and did not want him on the team further any risk that he may accept a qualifying offer was too great. The Nats only wished to jettison themselves of Edwin Jackson. With this being said, thank you Mr. Jackson for your service to the Washington Nationals and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.