The sweepstakes for free-agent right-hander Edwin Jackson has dwindled to a final two teams after the San Diego Padres refused to offer him a four-year deal, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN. The Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers are now the only teams left vying for the 29-year-old's services.
San Diego had been talking to Jackson over the last few weeks, but were not willing to offer him the four- or five-year deal he wants. The Angels, Brewers, Blue Jays and Dodgers were also tied to the right-hander at different points over the last two months, but they are all out of the running now.
The Cubs and Rangers lost out on their pursuits of Anibal Sanchez and Zack Greinke, respectively, so Jackson would be a sort of consolation prize for either club. The club that ends up losing out on Jackson as well can probably be tabbed as a shoo-in to go after fellow right-hander Kyle Lohse, the only other pricey name left on the starting pitcher market.
The 2012 season was the first time in three years that Jackson did not change clubs mid-season, and it seems very probable that he will get a multi-year deal wherever he ends up this offseason. Jackson posted a 4.03 ERA and 8.0 K/9 rate in 189⅔ innings this past season, notching a career-high 2.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio.