During the 2005-2006 off-season, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were looking to part ways with two expensive relievers, Danys Baez and Lance Carter, as they deemed their club ‘Under Construction.’
They found a match on January 14th, 2006 as they agreed to trade Baez and Carter to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for two pitchers, Chuck Tiffany and Edwin Jackson.
This seemingly small deal would serve as the seed for a trade tree that has grown wildly out of control and is continuously growing to this date. In fact, the trade of Chase Headley this past December back to the San Diego Padres, can be traced back to the Edwin Jackson trade in 2006.
Edwin Jackson is still playing major league baseball, he has been traded six times over his major league career, including being twice during the 2011 trade deadline. The trades he has been involved in have brought back a total of 16 players, while he has packed his bags along with six other players to help bring about those returns.
After acquiring Jackson in 2006, the Devil Rays held onto him through their transformation from AL East doormat to the AL Champions in 2008. During the offseason following their World Series appearance, the Rays traded Jackson to the Detroit Tigers for Matt Joyce. Several years later, the Rays would flip Joyce to the Los Angeles Angels for Kevin Jepsen. Soon after, Jepsen would be flipped to the Minnesota Twins for Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.
This is just the shortened up Rays version of events, stemming back to the Edwin Jackson trade.
There have been several other trades throughout the years that can be traced back as well, and a couple of them have actually been among the biggest in Tampa Bay Rays history.
In 2014, the Rays traded their former Cy Young winning pitcher, David Price, to the Tigers in a three-team deal that also involved the Seattle Mariners. The Tigers parted ways with Austin Jackson, sending him to Seattle, and then they sent Willy Adames and Drew Smyly to the Rays. The Mariners sent Nick Franklin to the Rays to complete the deal.
Austin Jackson originally came to the Detroit Tigers in a three team-trade with the New York Yankees, that involved Curtis Granderson and a number of players from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Tigers sent Granderson to New York and in that same deal, they dealt Edwin Jackson to Arizona. Detroit received several notable players, including Max Scherzer and the aforementioned Austin Jackson.
Here’s another one to trace back at would have a heavy impact on the Rays.
After acquiring Baez for Jackson during the original 2006 trade, the Dodgers would eventually deal Baez to the Atlanta Braves for Wilson Betemit, to help complete the deal, the Dodgers also threw in Willy Aybar. Well, the Rays, during February of 2008, would acquire Aybar from the Atlanta Braves and during the 2008 season, Aybar would be one of the many players who contributed at the right moments to pave the way for their first pennant.
More recently, when the Rays traded Wil Myers to the San Diego Padres during the 2014-2015 offseason, they made a three-team deal that involved 11 players. One of those players, Ryan Hanigan came to the Rays in a trade that can also be traced back to Edwin Jackson.
On July 30th, 2010, Arizona Diamondbacks would part ways with Edwin Jackson as they sent him to the Chicago White Sox for Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg.
A few years later, during the 2013-2014 offseason, the Diamondbacks would team u[ with the Cincinnati Reds and the Rays and completed a three-team deal with the Rays receiving Ryan Hanigan and Heath Bell as part of the deal, Holmberg went to the Reds, and the Rays sent a couple of minor leaguers to Arizona.
So, when the Rays packaged Hanigan along with Myers and a couple of prospects in the huge 11 player deal with the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres, even that trade could be traced back to Edwin Jackson.
The Edwin Jackson trade tree is one the most amazing things to look at in the game as it continues to grow and the deals that had involved some part of the original trade back in 2006 keep developing.
Who knows, in a few years we could look back at this tree and see the roots bearing their own large limbs.