As the conclusion of the World Series marked the end of an exciting 2023 MLB season, free agency is set to open with players being eligible to officially sign in four days. The Toronto Blue Jays have their fair share of players that will hit the open free agent market, including one of their unsung heroes of the 2023 season. That player is none other than right-handed pitcher Jay Jackson.
After spending many years moving about from the minor leagues to the majors, and even to foreign leagues, Jackson appeared to have finally found a home with the Blue Jays this season. Whenever he was called upon from Triple-A Buffalo this season, he delivered with flying colours each time.
Aside from four outings all year, Jackson held his opponents scoreless in his other 21 appearances for the ballclub this season. Altogether, he compiled a solid 3-1 record with a stellar 2.12 ERA, 202 ERA+, 0.91 WHIP, giving up only seven earned runs, nine walks and 27 strikeouts over 29.2 innings pitched. More importantly, he didn’t just pitch in mop-up duty. In fact, he played a key role in many close games for the Jays this season, with the team going 14-11 in the games he pitched in.
However, the surprising and unexpected part to Jackson’s season was when he was designated for assignment just prior to the start of the playoffs. With his dominance throughout the regular season, he could have potentially played a major role in shutting down the opposition for the ballclub during the postseason, but never ended up getting the opportunity to show his worth.
As he currently hits free agency, the Jays should really consider re-signing Jackson after all he had done for the team in 2023 by pitching his heart out. That way, he would be given another chance to prosper once again in the environment where the fans have grown into truly appreciating his work ethic and efforts. But if he decides to move on, it is totally understandable given what happened at the end of the season. In such case, we wish Jackson all the best in his future endeavours.