Jackson’s inconsistency and lack of command will always hold him back, it seems. But right now he’s flashing a strong 51% groundball rate along with good whiff and contact rates, so there’s a lot to like about Jackson beyond one of the hardest fastballs among starters in all of baseball.
Jackson gives the White Sox a small upgrade over Hudson through 2011, although I’m not convinced that it’s enough to forfeit Hudson’s extra years of team control. ZiPS projects Hudson to put up a 4.06 FIP for the rest of the season, compared to a 4.16 FIP for Jackson. I think that alone says a lot about how close these guys are in terms of performance. And when one guy is owed about $10M through 2011 before hitting free agency and the other guy isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet, I think you need a lot more than a slight upgrade to justify making that kind of deal.
I don’t really like this deal for the White Sox. Holmberg’s nothing special, really, but I’m not really convinced that Jackson is some sort of big upgrade on Hudson. It just feels like the White Sox just committed to spending around $10M through 2011 on a pitcher that’s not much better than the one he’s replacing. …
Kenny Williams likes to deal, but this is not one of his better ones. One may expect the price for Jackson to be lower than what the White Sox paid, given what the returns were for superior pitchers in Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren. Instead of keeping Hudson and letting him fill the rotation spot that Jake Peavy vacated, the White Sox decided to go out and fill it with a more expensive source. While Jackson probably won’t be enough by himself to change the direction of the White Sox’s season, he is a good piece for this year and beyond. All that remains to be seen is if he will stay a White Sox for long.