It was last summer when we first introduced you to Edwin Jackson and told the story of the Major League player with the most interesting travelogue of any in the history of the game.
With Jackson, a right-handed pitcher, the conversation is not about how many years he’s played, its about how many teams he’s played for.
Late last week, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Jackson from the Oakland A’s for cash considerations. And when Jackson climbs a MLB mound of them, the Blue Jays will become the 14th team he has played for.
No one has ever done that before.
This will be Jackson’s 17th season in MLB. He is 35 years old. And he apparently, in an age where young, hard throwers are plentiful, his has enough velocity and moxie to still make him a valuable commodity.
Jackson had just re-signed a Minor League deal with the A’s last month and was getting himself ready to return to the Majors by appearing in three games. Now he’s on track to set the record on Wednesday when he starts in San Francisco.
“Hopefully he’s going to give us a spark,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We need an arm like that and he’s been around. I’ve seen him for a long time now so I’m hoping he helps us out.”
Jackson is in Toronto for the same reason he was in Oakland in 2018. The Jays, like the A’s were, are saddled by injuries to their starters. Clay Buchholz (shoulder), Ryan Borucki (elbow), Matt Shoemaker (knee injury) and Clayton Richard are all on the injured list.
Jackson made his MLB debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003 and has a career record of 104-123 with a 4.60 ERA in 394 games.
Jackson has also played for Tampa Bay, Detroit, Chicago White Sox, Arizona, St. Louis, Washington, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, San Diego, Miami and Baltimore. That’s one diverse hat rack.
Follow the bouncing Jackson:
January 14, 2006: Traded by the Dodgers to Tampa Bay (when they were still the Devil Rays) for Baez and Carter.
December 10, 2008: Traded by Tampa Bay to the Detroit Tigers for for Matt Joyce (a future Angel).
December 8, 2009: Traded by Detroit as part of a three-team deal to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Detroit sent Curtis Granderson (who played for the Dodgers in 2017) to the New York Yankees, who sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to Detroit and sent Ian Kennedy to Arizona. Arizona sent Max Scherzer (who won the Cy Young Award in 2013, 2016 and 2017) and Daniel Schlereth to Detroit.
July 30, 2010: Traded by Arizona to the Chicago White Sox for David Holmberg and Daniel Hudson (who played for Dodgers in 2018).
July 27, 2011: Traded by the White Sox with Mark Teahen to the Blue Jays for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart.
July 27, 2011: Traded by Toronto with Octavio Dotel (played for Dodgers in 2010), Corey Patterson and Mark Rzepczynski for to St. Louis for Trever Miller (played for the Dodgers in 2000), Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters.
February 2, 2012: Signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals
January 2, 2013: Signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs.
August 14, 2015: Signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves.
January 13, 2016: Signed as a free agent with the Miami Marlins.
June 20, 2016: Signed as a free agent with the San Diego Padres.
April 5, 2017: Signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
June 16, 2017: Signed as a free agent with the Nationals.
June 6, 2018: Signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics.
May 11, 2019: Purchased by Toronto from Oakland.
When he debuted with the A’s – he was 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 17 starts – he tied former reliever Octavio Dotel by playing with his 13th team.
“The kids that are at Triple-A are struggling a little bit now so we want to give them more time for them to get better,” Montoyo said. “You don’t want to bring anybody up to the big leagues when they’re struggling in the minor leagues. Edwin Jackson is a perfect fit right now.”
According to baseball-reference.com, Jackson has already earned approximately $79 million in his career. Oddly enough, when debuted with the Dodgers he was the youngest (20) MLB player at that time.
“It’s just a fun fact,” Jackson told the San Jose Mercury News last season. “Scoreboard trivia. I try to be young once a week.
Jackson has been an all-star only once, in 2008 with the Tigers. By the end of July that season. hitters were batting only .216 against him, the lowest batting average against any pitcher in the American League at that point. He pitched a scoreless fifth inning in the All-Star game, needing only four pitches against Yadier Molina, Ryan Zimmerman and Hanley Ramirez.
The highlight of his career came on June 25, 2010, while he was in Arizona, when he pitched a no-hitter against Tampa despite walking eight and hitting another batter and throwing 149 pitches.
“More than anything, it was a big-league job (in Toronto), and we weren’t going to stand in his way,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We didn’t have it for him right now. We think so much of him that if he has an opportunity to go to the big leagues right now, we’re not going to stand in his way. We love him here. Who knows how the season plays out, but it was more about getting him a big-league job.”