President’s Day and Jackson’s Signing

As I sat down to write, I had the perfect subject for today. It was President’s Day in the United States. I began to ponder why Derrick Hall had his own day and wondered if there was a General Manager Day too.

I was going to send Derrick an email and ask him what day he planned on celebrating General Manager Day but I was afraid the answer would be the same that I got as a child when I asked my parents why we celebrated Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but there was no Kid’s Day.

Like every other parent on the planet the answer was, “Because every day is Kid’s Day”. I never accepted that answer but I have to admit, given how busy Josh Byrnes has been this off-season every day truly has been General Manager Day.

Byrnes seems to have been in the news every week as he attempted to shore up the Diamondbacks roster trying to turn around a franchise that lost 97 games during the 2009 season.

Now with pitchers and catchers due to report by the end of the week, you would have thought Byrnes would have finished his work and been given a few days breather before the start of Spring Training.

That was not the case as news leaked yesterday that the Diamondbacks had come to terms with their final arbitration eligible player. Just three days before the Diamondbacks were scheduled to appear in front of the arbitration committee with pitcher Edwin Jackson, the team came to terms with their newest starting pitcher.

Jackson had been asking for a $6.25 million salary in 2010 while the Diamondbacks had countered with an offer of $4.6 million. It did not look as though common ground would be found between the two sides and for the first time under the Byrnes era they would keep their arbitration meeting for Wednesday.

I have to admit I didn’t think a deal would be completed. Jackson is represented by agent Scott Boras who is notorious for holding out. I was there ecstatic when it was announced not only was there a deal but it was for two years.

When the Diamondbacks sent Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers in the three-way trade that brought Jackson and pitcher Ian Kennedy to Arizona it was widely believed that Jackson would be here just one season.

Having Jackson for two years at a known payroll amount gives the Diamondbacks cost consistency and allows them to begin planning for the 2011 season. This is one fewer budget variable and hopefully will give Arizona some extra money they can put to use in either re-signing Brandon Webb or finding his replacement.

The Jackson contract is reported to be $13.35 million for two years which many believe will be a bargain if Jackson performs up to expectations. Given his 2008 season with Tampa Bay and his 2009 campaign with Detroit, it appears he is ready for a complete breakout season instead of pieces of brilliance.

Now that we’ve defined President’s Day and General Manager’s Day the next question to be answered is, “When is Fan’s Day?”

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