Despite the amount of riches falling on other players, the free-agent market has yet to shower anything on Edwin Jackson.
Being a reliable 28-year-old workhorse with occasional "really good stuff" apparently doesn't go as far as it used to.
While Jackson has reportedly received a few three-year deals, the current belief is that none of them were very exciting and that he'll take a one-year deal with a contender in order to boost his value in the free-agent class of 2013.
Seizing on the first part of that belief ("one-year deal") and completely ignoring the second ("a contender") , Pittsburgh Pirates fans took to Twitter on Wednesday night in an attempt to convince Jackson that a one-year stint at PNC Park is an ideal place to showcase his talent.
Centered around the hashtag #ejaxtobucs, Edwin received exhortations from anyone and everyone: From random Pirates fans coveting an ace for the top of their rotation, all the way on up to closer Joel Hanrahan who offered to get Jackson some custom black-and-gold cleats if he ends up in the 'Burgh.
A few of our favorite tweets:
• "In Pittsburgh, nobody will recognize you at a restaurant and bug you for an autograph." @rutkap75
• "(You) pitched in the world series last year, time to let someone else have a turn I'd say. Come to Pittsburgh!" @McEffect
• "I think we need to stop asking @EJ36 to come to Pittsburgh. We need to tell him to. Assume the close #sales101" @DamicoMark
"And no Braun for 50 games. RT @McEffect No Fielder, no Pujols. I could look good pitching in this division." @vipe29
Edwin Jackson himself finally acknowledge the torrent of Tweets on Thursday morning, thanking "#BucsNation for the support" and remarking that it is "appreciated."
Will anything actually come of this impressive movement? Doubtful. It takes a lot more than 140 characters to convince someone to slog through one season in Pittsburgh or cajole ownership into opening their wallets for a longer-term contract. The Pirates aren't going to spend when they're already planning on a cost-effective future led by the surplus of prospect pitchers they've drafted the past few years.
Still, it's nice to see an overlooked pitcher being courted by an overlooked base of dedicated fans. In a world without money and contracts, it'd be a perfect fit.
UPDATE: Yup, that's a negatron for E-Jax and Bucs fans. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Jackson and his agent, Scott Boras, have come to terms on a deal with the Washington Nationals.