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Monday, January 09, 2023

Giants ink Luke Jackson, who missed ‘22 with TJ, to 2-year deal

The Giants bolstered their bullpen on Monday by signing veteran right-hander Luke Jackson to a two-year, $11.5 million contract that includes a club option for the 2025 season.

Jackson, 31, missed the 2022 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery last April, but he enjoyed a career-best season for the World Series champion Braves in 2021, logging a 1.98 ERA with 70 strikeouts over 63 2/3 innings.

Jackson will earn $3 million in 2023 and $6.5 million in ‘24; his 2025 club option is worth $7 million. If the Giants choose not to exercise the option, Jackson will receive a $2 million buyout.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 03:09 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, luke jackson

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 09, 2023 at 03:42 PM (#6112575)
Another mind-boggler. This guys pretty much defines "erratic reliever." His 2021 results were outstanding but on a 3.66 FIP. His overall ERA+ is a mere 105 which is nothing for a reliever. His career H/9 is 9.4, quite high for a reliever, and his full-ish season K-rates have ranged from 5.9 to 13.1. He gives up hits, HRs and BBs so you hope he Ks enough guys to get around that. Giving him 2/$11 after 2021 (before the TJS) might make sense, it seems to make no sense now. I guess the upside is that if he does have a couple of good years, the option is fairly cheap.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 04:57 PM (#6112581)
I think the 2 year deal is that they don't expect him to be ready for the start of this season, and you hope he contributes in at the end of this year and in 2024. Idk, I think it's about market rate if you think he can be a 1 WAR reliever. He also has a really interesting "gyroscopic" slider that I bet the Giants make good use of.
   3. sunday silence (again) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 05:07 PM (#6112585)
His 2021 results were outstanding but on a 3.66 FIP.


do you really put this much stock in peripheral stats? They are peripheral for a reason. When you have a guy who's easily classifiable as good or bad or average. Peripheral stats are irrelevant, we know what the guy is and there's nothing more for babip or FIP or whatever to tell us. His BaBIP is .300 their pythagorean is about the same as their record etc etc for whatever peripheral stat.

BUt when you have someone who's an edge case either because we have limited data or he's coming off an injury or he's in a different ball park or a different environment then we trot these out to add to the argument. BUt then you've got the same problem of limited stats, different environment that brought here in the first place so does a peripheral stat really tell you any more when you're already dealing with the limitations of your data?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 06:12 PM (#6112594)
do you really put this much stock in peripheral stats? They are peripheral for a reason. When you have a guy who's easily classifiable as good or bad or average. Peripheral stats are irrelevant, we know what the guy is and there's nothing more for babip or FIP or whatever to tell us. His BaBIP is .300 their pythagorean is about the same as their record etc etc for whatever peripheral stat.

Yes. Jackson's 1.98 ERA is a mirage. He stranded 90% of the runners he put on base. That's completely unsustainable. The guy is a 3.50-4.00 ERA pitcher.
   5. sunday silence (again) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 06:53 PM (#6112601)
Right I can see what you're saying there. But is he being over paid? Given the money we're talking he's expected to produce 1.5 WAR in 3 years. Does he seem capable of that?
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 07:11 PM (#6112607)
Right I can see what you're saying there. But is he being over paid? Given the money we're talking he's expected to produce 1.5 WAR in 3 years. Does he seem capable of that?

1.5 in two years, no? He's capable of it, but given he's hurt I don't think that's the expected value. His Steamer projection is 0.3 WAR in 50 IP.

I also think there are 100 guys making league minimum who are capable of 1.5 WAR in 2 years. If you look at ZiPs projections by team, you'll see every team has like 10 RPs who project that well.
   7. John Reynard Posted: January 09, 2023 at 09:19 PM (#6112623)
Clearly SF thinks they can do something with his slider and make him worth more than 1.5 WAR over the 2 years. They also have an option on a 3rd year I believe, so, they may be expecting to do better than 2.5 WAR over 3 years.

I'd rather have Luke Jackson than a random arm projected to do 2.5 WAR over 3 years who hasn't faced ML hitters yet. Also, they have money intended for Correa and may be prone to modest overpays. If this Jackson contract is what is breaking a franchise supposedly, its a good thing he wasn't signed by Pittsburgh.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 09:28 PM (#6112625)

I'd rather have Luke Jackson than a random arm projected to do 2.5 WAR over 3 years who hasn't faced ML hitters yet.


But that's not the choice. You can get 6 random guys and still have $10M left over.

They also have an option on a 3rd year I believe, so, they may be expecting to do better than 2.5 WAR over 3 years.

And if the random guy develops you get him for 6 or 7 years.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 09:56 PM (#6112627)

But that's not the choice. You can get 6 random guys and still have $10M left over.


Yes, but (a) those 6 random guys are probably going to put up some crappy innings before you find one that works, and the Giants don't have much room for error in a division with the Dodgers and Padres; and (b) at this point in the off-season, what are you saving $10M for?
   10. sunday silence (again) Posted: January 09, 2023 at 10:59 PM (#6112634)

Clearly SF thinks they can do something with his slider and make him worth more than 1.5 WAR over the 2 years.


It seems to me the new normal is $10M/WAR based on the discussions we've been having throughout the winter free agent signings. And these are based on the fangraphs projections which seem to presume that everyone stays healthy. A few weeks ago it was pointed out that pre season projections are based on 1200 WAR league wide when in reality only about 80% of that will really happen. So once you account for injury etc. its more like they are paying $12/actual WAR.

He's set to make a total of $16M at the end of his third season if it all goes well. That's no more than 1.5 war expected from 3 seasons.
   11. John Reynard Posted: January 10, 2023 at 04:01 AM (#6112644)
He's set to make a total of $16M at the end of his third season if it all goes well. That's no more than 1.5 war expected from 3 seasons.


Sure, but the team wants to make a "profit" on the deal. I bet SF expects to get 2.5+ WAR from the deal over the 3 years.
   12. John Reynard Posted: January 10, 2023 at 04:02 AM (#6112645)
But that's not the choice. You can get 6 random guys and still have $10M left over.


Sure, if you're the Marlins, As, Pirates, or Tigers, this is viable. No contender will see enough innings for their projectable guys similar to Luke Jackson to be sure one turns into Luke Jackson.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2023 at 08:57 AM (#6112649)
It seems to me the new normal is $10M/WAR based on the discussions we've been having throughout the winter free agent signings.

The estimates I've seen put the first WAR at more like $7M, and incremental WAR at $10.

Yes, but (a) those 6 random guys are probably going to put up some crappy innings before you find one that works, and the Giants don't have much room for error in a division with the Dodgers and Padres;

I'm not convinced they're any more likely to put up crappy innings than Jackson himself. Even if he's healthy and back to a 3.70 ERA talent, 25 IP of a 5+ ERA is very possible.

(b) at this point in the off-season, what are you saving $10M for?

You're still allowed to acquire players. Use it for a big deadline acquisition. Or save it for next year.
   14. JJ1986 Posted: January 10, 2023 at 11:51 AM (#6112663)
do you really put this much stock in peripheral stats? They are peripheral for a reason.
ERA is really much more of a peripheral stat than Ks or BBs.
   15. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 10, 2023 at 12:20 PM (#6112666)
do you really put this much stock in peripheral stats? They are peripheral for a reason. When you have a guy who's easily classifiable as good or bad or average. Peripheral stats are irrelevant, we know what the guy is and there's nothing more for babip or FIP or whatever to tell us.

For small sample sizes I would put more stock in the component stats than in his ERA.

Sure, you could just as easily say he's a 3.5-4 ERA pitcher based on his career mark or his average from the past 3 years. I think the main point of citing the 3.66 FIP in 2021 is that he wasn't a significantly improved pitcher in 2021 despite the 1.98 ERA.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2023 at 02:17 PM (#6112704)
do you really put this much stock in peripheral stats? They are peripheral for a reason.

Are they "peripheral" stats or are they "component" stats. There is legit debate whether ERA is a good measure for relievers anyway (but usually on the side that the ERA looks better than the performance) but the whole point of FIP is that it is a better predictor of next season's ERA than this season's ERA is.

As to paying Luke Jackson as an average reliever ... HE'S COMING OFF TJS. If he was a healthy meh reliever then, sure, in today's market 2/$11 is no surprise. But he's not a healthy MEH reliever, he's one coming off a major injury. A guy like this should be thrilled with a 1-year make-good contract for $3 M. Wny are you guaranteeing two years to a guy you're not sure will ever see a ML mound again? The argument that "this guy is proven compared with the random guys" is a perfectly good one -- if he's healthy. (By the way, "gyroscopic slider" and "continued health of the replacement elbow ligament" seem sorta contradictory but it's only gotta last a couple of years.)

These sorts of deals make sense when there's some big upside to be had. If Jackson was established as one of the better relievers out there but was coming off this injury then this sort of gamble makes sense. Here the Giants only win if he's healthy and his 2021 results are more indicative of his quality going forward than his other 210 innings or his 2021 "peripherals."

Sign a healthy average reliever to an average reliever's contract -- makes perfect sense.
Sign an unhealthy/rehabbing above-average reliever to an average reliever's contract -- seems like a reasonable gamble with an upside.
Sign an unhealthy/rehabbing average reliever to a healthy average relievver's contract -- nope.

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