Welcome to the depths of my obsession, or how Ryan Jackson came to have a 2015 review, even though it has been over a year since he was even on the Dodgers' 40-man roster.
What went right
The Dodgers claimed Jackson, a utility infielder, off waivers from the Padres on Nov. 3, 2014, really the first transaction under the new front office regime outside of end-of-season free agency and option minutiae. At the time it seemed an innocent transaction, one geared toward adding depth for the 2015 season.
Little did we know it would soon become a symbol of the never-ending quest to leave no stone unturned, to incrementally upgrade whenever possible.
Just three weeks after he was acquired, Jackson was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for another new acquisition, Juan Nicasio, then traded two days later to the Royals for cash considerations.
This is where Jackson's Dodger career ended, but I didn't think his brief time in the organization should be ignored. So my general rule for whether a player gets a season review is this: anyone who played for the major league team during the season, plus anyone on the 40-man roster after spring training started or anyone added to the 40-man roster since the end of the previous season.
This is a loose definition, as there are a few players I added because I thought their stories were relevant to 2015, but we haven't gotten to their profiles yet.
Ryan Lavarnway and Andrew Heaney are in the same boat as Jackson, players who were Dodgers in November or December 2014 but gone before the calendar turned to 2015. Their profiles are coming, too.
I thought about giving a 2015 profile to Brooks Brown, who was technically claimed off waivers while the Dodgers were still alive in the NLDS, but his quick move off the 40-man roster on Friday made me rethink that proposition. Though Brown was sent outright to Triple-A and remains in the system, I didn't want potentially two season reviews for someone who potentially never throws a pitch for the franchise. So Brown gets bumped to 2016.
But in case you were wondering, yes Jackson and Brown count as "old friends," which has an even looser definition than I am willing to describe in detail at the moment. Perhaps because attempting such thing might cause the old friend universe to implode upon itself.
What went wrong
So now that you have seen a little bit behind the curtain into my neurosis, let's look at what Jackson actually did in 2015, and for what team(s). This doesn't exactly fall into the what went right or wrong rubric, but perhaps that is the point. We all have guidelines, but it's more of a loose structure to tell a story.
Jackson's time on the Kansas City 40-man roster didn't last long either, but he cleared waivers in January and was sent outright to Triple-A Omaha. Jackson did go to spring training with the Royals as a non-roster invitee but didn't make the major league team.
After a month in Omaha, Jackson was traded to the Angels for catcher Drew Butera, another old friend who himself was on the Dodgers' 40-man roster during the entirety of the Ryan Jackson Era in Los Angeles (Butera was traded to the Angels by the Dodgers in December during the winter meetings).
Jackson had a solid year overall in Triple-A, hitting .295/.372/.378 in 104 games between Omaha and Salt Lake, playing mostly shortstop. He was called up to the Angels in mid-August when they needed infield help. Jackson played 22 games for the Angels, 17 of them at second base; he started three times at second base at once at third, and went 0-for-9 with five strikeouts and one walk at the plate, with four sacrifice bunts.
Game of the year
On Aug. 17 against the White Sox, Jackson walked in three plate appearances against Carlos Rodon, Jackson's only time reaching base with the Angels.
In November Jackson declined an outright minor league assignment from the Angels and became a free agent. He signed a minor league contract for 2016 with the Phillies, including a non-roster invitation to spring training.