The Oakland Athletics have officially signed former starter Edwin Jackson to a minor league deal, the league announced on Friday afternoon.
One of the main pieces of a late-season rotation decimated by injury, Jackson signed with the A’s in June of 2018, joining his 13th Major League franchise. He went 6-3 for Oakland with a 3.33 ERA in 17 starts, helping the club to win 97 games and reach the playoffs as the second American League Wild Card.
Jackson began 2018 on a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals in January before opting out and joining the A’s in June. The A’s went 14-3 in his starts overall last season, and 56-27 from the date of his first outing on June 25 through the end of the season.
“There’s certain guys who are a little bit more important in the clubhouse, and from Day One that he got here, he was that impactful,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin.
Jackson, 35, became one of the cornerstones of a young and disparate Oakland clubhouse, serving as sounding board for young starters and a steady presence in the rotation. He was a major contributor to the loose clubhouse culture that kept the A’s not only in contention, but able to overcome injuries and setbacks with relative ease.
“Performance is one thing, and you look at the performance and the record of the team when he was here,” Melvin said. “But man, what he meant on the off days, when he wasn’t pitching. He’s the biggest cheerleader. He had a great record taking up the lineup card. Just all those things, and one of the guys everybody just rallied around.”
Jackson, who has been keeping in shape this offseason, and according to The Athletic and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the club remained in close contact with him, negotiating both big-league and minor-league deals as other teams came in and out.
It will take a few weeks for Jackson to get back into big league starting shape, but he could wind up being a boone to a rotation that has already had a strong start. Oakland’s starters have gone 9-4 with a 4.15 ERA, and have thrown 89 innings in 17 games. The club started the United States portion of their schedule with six straight games where their starting pitchers went six or more innings and allowed one run or fewer.