MLB Trade Rumors first reported a month ago yesterday that the Nats were interested in Edwin Jackson. I thought the interest was just going to blow over, as teams have "interest" in dozens of players at any given time. But on Saturday, Jackson's name was tied to the Nats again. And yesterday, Tim Dierkes reported on two different rumors, one where the Nats would get Jackson in a 3-way deal that would send Adam Dunn to the White Sox and another where the Nats would simply acquire Jackson for prospects. There are more than just 3 reasons I think making a move for Edwin Jackson would be a bad idea, but these are 3 reasons I think are specific to the Nats.
1. In a deal for Dunn, Jackson is worth less to the Nats than an elite prospect would be.
Daniel Hudson alone is worth more than Edwin Jackson to me. If the Nats can snag him alone for Dunn, they've made out okay at least. If, as rumored, they can come up with another nice prospect like Danks/Flowers/Morel, or even a guy a tier below that, they've blown a Jackson-for-Dunn deal out of the water. The prospects they can get back for Dunn can come close to Jackson's performance right off the bat, but will also be controllable (and cheaper) for many more seasons. This leads into my next point.
2. Jackson is expensive and only controllable through 2011.
3. Jackson is potentially overworked.
This is my biggest beef with Jackson. Not every pitcher is made equal, and I certainly am not an expert on pitching, but if I had a penny for every red flag there is concerning Jackson's workload, I would be a rich man.
Jackson's 149 pitch no-hitter leads the league in pitches thrown by 17. He's atop the charts by an obscene amount in total Pitcher Abuse Points (151623 to second place Roy Halladay's 84331). You can check out this Baseball Prospectus sortable stats page if you want to sort through these things yourselves.
Some pitchers, Livan Hernandez for example, can handle a lot of Pitcher Abuse Points. But the Nats are paying Livan $900k. If I'm paying a guy $8 million+, I want to know for sure that he isn't damaged goods.
If the Nats could acquire him for a combination of fading prospects like Shairon Martis and middle relievers like Sean Burnett and Joel Peralta, sure. Jackson can an effective middle-of-the-rotation starter But if the Nats have to give up Adam Dunn or anyone that sniffs their top 15 prospects for him, I'll pass.