Edwin Jackson of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the second inning during Game Four of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tony Gutierrez-Pool/Getty Images)
[Update 3:07 pm]: Nick Cafardo tweets that the Red Sox are believed to be "one of few teams" Edwin Jackson would sign a one-year deal with.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Baltimore Orioles are intrigued by Edwin Jackson, enough to want to offer him four years if they get the chance. The Red Sox are looking at Jackson as well, hoping no one else is interested so that he'll come cheap, in terms of both years and dollars.
The good news? Connolly isn't convinced that just because the Orioles are willing to offer four years means that Scott Boras and Jackson would take it.
After all, this is the Orioles, and if Jackson is going to suffer the pains of the AL East, he's probably going to want to do it while on a team that might actually score some runs for him rather than against him. He would be just 32 years old at the end of a four-year contract, so the traumatic experience could hypothetically hurt him when he's still young enough for a lucrative free agent deal. Plus, a successful season in Boston (should Boras settle for a "pillow contract") would help to dispel doubts about his ability to be productive in the tough AL East, making him a more attractive option to all 30 teams next year than he has been this winter.
And it's not exactly clear at this moment -- especially after an off-season where the Orioles didn't do very much housecleaning -- how soon the O's will contend, if they even would during a four-year deal. There are plenty of reasons to not just chase the money here, even if Jackson is a Boras client.
Boston isn't likely to chase Jackson if the O's offer is taken seriously by his camp, as they are more comfortable getting Jackson "at their offer price," according to Buster Olney. There's room in the budget for that, not a bidding war with the Orioles (or anyone). But maybe it won't even come to that.