Of Jesuit logic, Edwin Jackson and St. Thomas Aquinas

The benefits of a Jesuit education…you get to take a class in logic as part of the philosophy requirement. Plus you get to read Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas but that doesn’t help in the case of free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson.

So let’s stick to logic in the case of the 29-year-old righthander.

On Tuesday night, Jim Bowden tweeted that the Rangers and the Cubs are the final suitors for Jackson.Edwin Jackson

We are also told that the Padres have dropped out of the running because they didn’t want to make a four-year commitment to Jackson. They also dropped out because they didn’t want to make a $12-13 million per year commitment to Jackson. He made $11 million from the Nationals last season.

All right, so if all of that is true, then the Rangers apparently are willing to go at least four years and $50 million for Jackson. That’s the logic.


For four years we have been listening to how good the Rangers farm system is, how important it is to develop their own pitching and how much they have done to change the pitching culture within the organization.

And now Edwin Jackson is going to get four years and $50 million?


So what do you get for $50 million?

Over the past four years, Jackson is 45-41 with a 3.98 ERA in 127 start and one relief appearance. There have been 63 Major League pitchers who have made at least 100 starts over the past four years and Jackson has the 35th best ERA. He is 43rd with 8.99 hits per nine innings, 37th with 2.97 walks and 34th with 7.29 strikeouts per nine innings.

Jackson is 29 years old. He hasn’t been on the disabled since 2004. He has also been with seven different organizations in his career.

So, using all powers of logic, are the Rangers really willing to give Jackson a four-year contract?

Maybe Aquinas does have the answer…

“Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.”


“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.”

Don’t think he tweeted either one.



There’s a chance that in 4 years he won’t put up $50m value (roughly approximated as 8-10 WAR) but there’s a distinct chance he will. But sometimes you have to overpay to get what you want now. Chances are, both Greinke and Hamilton are overpays.

They didn’t get Lee 2 years ago, but they made up for it with Beltre and Napoli. They didn’t get Greinke this year, and they didn’t get Hamilton and probably won’t get Upton and may not get Swisher. Signing Jackson might be the only way they can feasibly upgrade without overpaying in trade like the Royals and Blue Jays (most likely) did for Shields and Dickey. Right now, Jackson in the rotation looks a lot better than Perez (I know about his projections, but he’s still just a kid right now).

It’s to the point, I think, where the Rangers could rationalize either backing down or going for the likely overpay. It may not be rational or logical, as you said…sense instead of reason. The sense of trying to bring in 3 million fans again this year, or something like that.

Good post, T.R.

Loved it. Jesuits, the top self, very sharp and intelligent individuals. The reason the Pope only visited Missouri a few years back was the result of the Jesuits refusing to share the profits from a land transaction with the diocese. The Pope to settle the matter agreed to visit Mo. The Jesuits are a powerful group. I guarantee they don’t sign Josh either. Lol.

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Ben J. Sexton

Not a lot about Jackson, other than his durability excites me but I’d point out as a comparison that since Zack Greinke’s outlier CY Young season his ERA over the past 3 years is 3.83.

Jackson…. hummmm. not so bad. Younger than Lohse, stout guy, reminds me of Lewis in pitching style.

Come on TR. Innings eater is what the Rangers need for 4th or 5th spot. Sign AJ, Swisher (hurts me a little) and LaRoache to go with our youngs and that would be a nice save for Daniels. Go Rangers

Hey Sullivan, Great post today. NIce treatment of a kind of dry topic, the value of a right handed pitcher.

Logic should also tell us that if only 63 pitchers have made at least 100 starts over the last 4 years, just over 2 per team, someone who has made 127 starts is very valuable. I think it’s far more likely Jackson outperforms his contract than Grienke outperforms his.

Jackson does have value and I do think he would be good for the Rangers, but not @ 4 and $50 mil. I don’t see how we can commit to a 4-5 starter for that long when we have so many up and coming young pitcher that could fill that slot if given the opportunity. Now if Jackson would sign a 1 or 2 yr deal…I’m in because that buys us a little time without the long term commitment.

I like our own Ross as serious starting alternative … pitching approach should be better suited to eating innings than to sudden strike relief for one to three innings.
I know he is left handed.

Love this article … suffer one more tag line since time is passing without alot of news. One year for Pzy (catcher) would be great; multiple years for 36 yr old
should be passed; what we really need is Bourn, even if it has to come with too much money and onerous agent.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Aquinas is even less popular now than he was when I studied him back in 65 but on the subject of Jackson I’m in…on Loshe not so much. Anyone ele out there causes me to repeat the metaphyical question repeatedly……why, why, why?

I’m in @4 – 50 mil, for a mid rotation Innings eater who’s been healthy for 8 years now. He’s not going to win the CY, and we do have several young arms with potential, but you always seem to need quailty starting pitching because of injuries and ineffectiveness of other rotation mates, who knows how Grim and Perez will perform if thrown do the wolves ? They struggled last season, and you always have a need for good solid pitching to anchor your rotation.
It took Harry 3 years to transition from highly regarded prospect to legitimate quality starter, Holland is still in transition and it will likely take Perez as long also.
You need this kind of guy to solidify your rotation until you know what you have in Grimm,Perez,Font, Ramirez,Buckel,Lu Jack,CJ Edwards,Wiles,Tepish and Keone Kela. This is the price you pay to buy that developmental time.

Personally, I’m ready for some Martin Perez. It’s time to see what he can do. He was an untouchable can’t miss prospect. Let’s give him a chance to prosper as a #5 starter. Darvish, Harrison, Holland, Ogando, Perez. What’s wrong with that. Mid season you have Colby coming back and the trade deadline if things don’t work out. Am I missing something on Perez?

Toby, once again you’re spot on with your logic. I shouldn’t be surprised though, that a canine with a Jesuit education would think just like Rangers management.

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