Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Giants Reportedly Sign Outfielder Austin Jackson

Austin Jackson of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run Austin Jackson of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run
Shannon Reynolds | 23 January, 2018, 08:34

Jackson had to settle for a minor league contract last winter after hitting just.260/.311/.361 over the previous three seasons, but he earned a multi-year deal after batting.318/.387/.482 in a part-time role with the Indians.

Jackson will join Andrew McCutchen as members of a new-look Giants outfield. With the Jackson signing, San Francisco's outfield revamp is complete.

The Giants agreed to a two-year deal with center fielder Austin Jackson on Monday, the team announced. Luckily, adding a veteran, like Jackson, on an affordable contract gives the Giants a low risk upgrade to a position of need, and a potential trade chip if things do happen to go south. Doing so would have made the Giants a much more formidable club, but would have tied them to a 32-year-old whose game is based on speed for at least three and likely four more seasons. Jackson could be the Giants' fourth outfielder, or carve out the starting center-fielder job.

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The Giants fielded an atrocious defensive outfield previous year between Span, Pence, and a rotating cast to play leftfield and fill in for the two veterans.

Signing Jackson would appear to take the Giants out of the running for Lorenzo Cain, Jon Jay, Carlos Gomez and Jarrod Dyson. Pairing Duggar with Jackson in center could work, because Jackson also provides an above-replacement-level player for the Giants at a bargain rate if Duggar struggles in the big leagues. That trait could allow Jackson to platoon with Steven Duggar if he's ready early in the season. With incentives, Jackson can make up to $8.5 million over the next two seasons. With Pence, Jackson and McCutchen (from left-to-right) now slated to start on Opening Day, the Giants are geared up to contend for a Wild Card berth in 2018, while still prepared to embrace a younger, more athletic future through free agency next offseason.

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