Luke Jackson and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms on a multi-year deal, per multiple reports. The righthanded reliever has a two year, $11.5 million guarantee that will pay him $3 million in 2023, $6.5 million in 2024, and includes a 2025 club option for $7 million with a $2 million buyout.
This is a surprisingly hefty deal for Jackson, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April, 2022, and missed the entire season. Jackson would seem likely to start 2023 on the injured list.
The former Texas Ranger first rounder was, you may recall, shunted off to the Atlanta Braves for Brady Feigl and Tyrell Jenkins after the 2016 season. He had a career 4.92 ERA and 4.05 FIP in 208.1 innings of relief from 2015 to 2020, but then broke out with a 1.98 ERA in 63.2 IP in 2021.
That 2021 campaign seemed pretty fluky, however — he had a strand rate over 90% and a .253 BABIP, and his 3.66 FIP and 4.15 xERA did not support the 1.98 ERA. His K rate, walk rate and home run rate in 2021 were also all in line with his historical performance.
As a 31 year old recuperating from Tommy John surgery who has had a rather pedestrian career, missed all of last season, and is likely not to be ready to go to start the season, this deal is heftier than I think one would have expected. It also may be a reminder that we need to re-calibrate expectations in regards to what free agents are getting, salary-wise.