The signing of Jay Jackson, twice
At the time, it certainly seemed like an under-the-radar depth move, but looking back now, it has sure made Jays’ management look like geniuses as a result. Back in January, the Jays signed Jay Jackson to a minor league contract, and in doing so, he became part of their Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. After an impressive spring showing in which he pitched 9.1 scoreless innings while striking out 13 batters over eight appearances, he was surprisingly released from the ballclub despite the performance.
However, just days later, the Jays actually re-signed Jackson, this time to a split contract where the player is paid differently depending on if they were in the majors or minors. This was in part to reward him for his impressive spring performance with a better contract going forward if he were to eventually make an appearance at the big league level at some point in time during the 2023 season.
Well, that ultimately came to fruition, as when the Jays ran into some bullpen injury woes during the season, Jackson was summoned from the minors. Boy, did he not disappoint, as over his few stints with the big league club, Jackson has posted a strong 3-1 record with a tidy 2.12 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, giving up only seven earned runs, nine walks and 27 strikeouts in 29.2 innings pitched. For the most part, his unexpected contributions helped the Jays stay afloat in the playoff race during the middle parts of the 2023 season. The Jays should definitely considered the option of bringing Jackson back when he hits free agency at the end of the season after what he has done and accomplished for the ballclub.