December 20, 2012 in Nationals Offseason
I'm not a big fan of sabremetrics and I'm certainly more an "eyeball" guy. One of the primary reasons for this, or at least I think so, is that I'll never be able to comprehend how these statistics are come up with. Many players are evaluated by their WAR, these stats may be valid but you'll never see me using them. Today it was announced that former Nationals pitcher Edwin Jackson will sign with the Chicago Cubs. It makes me wonder if the Nationals should have stuck with Jackson or pursued Dan Haren.
I'll be honest, I haven't seen too much of Dan Haren due to the fact he's spent a great deal of his career on the West Coast. The 32 year old was phenomenal in his time with Arizona and Oakland. The success carried over a bit into his time with Angels, but he seemed to struggle some in 2013 posting his first losing record since 2003. I certainly have no complaints about Haren and he's certainly a heck of an arm to have at the back of your rotation, especially on a one year deal. But with a young team that is currently on an assent would Edwin Jackson made more sense?
The 29 year old Jackson has been a guy that has always passed the eyeball test for me. He has nasty stuff, can hold his own batting, and seems to be a quality teammate. Jackson didn't have dazzling stats with the Nats going 10-11 this past year with a 4.03 ERA. These numbers are pretty comparable to Haren, but Jackson seems to be a guy with a bit more upside.
Essentially, as with many things, it seems to have come down to money. Jackson has been a nomad of sorts playing for seven MLB clubs over the course of his career. He could never seemingly cash in on a multi-year deal. The Nationals seem like a team still looking for something at the end of their rotation and have continually brought in guys like Jackson, Chien-Ming Wang, and Jason Marquis. I'm happy Jackson scored a four year deal today, but $13 million for four years of Jackson is just too costly. In the end Mike Rizzo played his cards right and the one year deal for Haren at $13 million puts the Nationals in a much better position. This is why I can't always trust my eyeballs.