The San Francisco Giants announced on Monday that they had reached a deal with outfielder Austin Jackson. The deal, which is for two years and $6 million includes several bonuses based upon Jackson’s playing time, as well as other incentives that could increase the deal’s overall value to more than $8.5 billion, said one source close to the National League ball club.
Bobby Evans, general manager and senior vice president of the Giants said through a prepared statement that the team was excited to have agreed to a deal for Jackson to join the team. Evans added that Jackson was a talented, versatile player who is going to strengthen the team’s roster while providing much needed depth at any of the three positions in our outfield.
Jackson, who turns 31 February 1, played last season in just 85 games for the American League Central champion Cleveland Indians.
He provided the Indians with outfield depth and was insurance for All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley, who sat out seven weeks of the season due to a troublesome ankle injury. In the 85 games he played last season, Jackson hit .318 with seven home runs, 35 runs batted in, three stolen bases, and an OPS of .869.
In 2016, Jackson appeared in just 54 games while playing for the Chicago White Sox. Prior to that, he played during 2015 with the Seattle Mariners as well as the Chicago Cubs hitting .267 with nine home runs and 48 runs batted in during 136 games.
For just over four seasons, Jackson played with the Detroit Tigers, prior to being traded in 2014 to the Mariners as part of a multi-team deal at the trade deadline that saw David Price the southpaw ace of the Tampa Bay Rays move to the Detroit Tigers.
Jackson, who bats from the right side, has played the majority of his career in center field. During the seven plus seasons he has played in the majors, Jackson has an average of .275, with 62 home runs, 349 runs batted in and 111 stolen bases over a period of 999 games.
San Francisco acquired veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates last week and the signing of Jackson will add much depth the club needs as the outfield has become more of a weak link the last two seasons due to a lack of production at the plate.