The Miami Marlins have given out their first Major League contract to a non-returning player this offseason, signing right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson to a contract. The Marlins will only be paying Jackson the league minimum, as the Chicago Cubs are still on the hook for the majority of the $13 million they owe him in 2016 as part of the four-year, $52 million deal they gave him in 2013.
Jackson has started and pitched out of the bullpen in his career, with his most recent success coming as a reliever. In 55.2 relief innings spread across 47 games in 2015, he put up a 3.07 ERA with 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched and a 41.1 percent ground-ball rate. He will likely be given a chance to compete for a rotation spot with the Marlins, given that the Fish currently have Jose Fernandez followed by guys like Jarred Cosart, Adam Conley, Tom Koehler, David Phelps, Jose Urena, and Justin Nicolino.
Jackson comes at the lowest possible Major League price, so the signing carries little risk for the team. His presence in the bullpen could prove helpful for the team, but it could signal problems for the club if he ends up in the rotation. With a few solid starting pitching options still out there, the Marlins would do well to continue adding to their pitching staff before Spring Training begins in a little over a month.