Trading Places: Edwin Jackson to Chicago
Friday July 30th, 2010
The Chicago White Sox made a splash in the trade market on Friday, though they didn't get the bat they've been seeking. Instead, they acquired Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson, in exchange for pitcher Daniel Hudson and minor league pitcher David Holmberg.
This trade marks the fourth time that the 26 year-old righthander has been dealt, a remarkably high number for a young player. Jackson made headlines back on June 25th when he tossed a no-hitter, walking eight, but his numbers this season don't stack up as impressively. In 21 starts this year, Jackson is just 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, a stark contrast to his excellent 13-9, 3.62 ERA season in 2009 for the Detroit Tigers.
For Jackson, the White Sox are not likely his final destination. The Nationals covet Jackson, so the White Sox may have acquired him simply as a means of prying slugger Adam Dunn away from Washington. Of course, the White Sox may deal him to another squad for a bat, or they may just hang on to him and hope he can return to the form that made him an all-star last season. Whatever the result, Jackson, who broke in as a 19 year-old Los Angeles Dodger back in 2003, is a talented hurler who has good potential and has shown flashes of dominance.
The return for the Diamondbacks in this deal is pretty impressive. Not only do they shed Jackson's salary for the remainder of 2010 and all of next season ($1.5 million and $8.35 million, respectively), but they also acquired two of Chicago's best pitching prospects.
The 23 year-old Hudson has spent most of 2010 tossing for AAA Charlotte, where he was 11-4 with a 3.47 ERA before his call-up on July 11th. He's shown flashes in just a handful of major league starts, but he should have some good outings ahead of him. According to Baseball America, Hudson was Chicago's top pitching prospect and their number three overall prospect, and commands three pitches with a naturally deceptive delivery. He's averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings in the minors this season, and has the makeup to be a front-line starter down very soon.
Similarly, lefty David Holmberg has the potential to be an impact arm in the big leagues, albeit a bit further down the road. The barely 19 year-old hurler was the Sox top lefthanded prospect and the number eight overall prospect in the organization, again, per Baseball America. He lacks good physique or velocity, with a fastball that sits mostly in the high 80s, but Holmberg commands his top-notch curveball and changeup well and gets late movement on his fastball. His professional career has been so-so thus far, with a 4.59 ERA in 22 total games (15 starts) in 2009 and 2010, but he could project as a mid-rotation starter as a big leaguer.
All in all, this is a pretty good trade for the Diamondbacks and interim general manager Jerry Dipoto, who needed to redeem himself a bit after being largely condemned for giving up pitcher Dan Haren for what appeared to be a marginal return, at best.
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