The biggest question of the San Francisco Giants’ offseason has been what they’d do about their outfield. First, they traded for Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen and now they’ve added a free agent that looks to be the final piece of the puzzle.
The Giants have reportedly signed veteran center fielder Austin Jackson to a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, who says the Giants are giving Jackson $6 million over the course of the contract.
Sources: Austin Jackson to giants. 6M, 2 Years. Elevators coukd take it to 8.5M.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2018
Anybody who has complained about the Giants being too old, well, they’ve got more ammo here. Jackson is 30, but to his credit, he hits left-handed pitching quite well. Last season with the Indians, he hit .352/.440/.574 against lefties with four homers and 15 RBIs. As a whole, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven homers and 35 RBIs in 85 games.
He also plays good defense (which is especially important at AT&T Park). The Giants will be hoping they get the 2017 version of Jackson, who was worth 1.8 Wins Above Replacement, according to Fangraphs, not the 2016 version that was worth -0.1 for the Chicago White Sox.
If the Giants want to platoon Jackson, that could work. They have 24-year-old Steven Duggar in their farm system, who many have picked as a center fielder of the future. He’s their No. 8 prospect. 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.
The Giants have previously said they plan to move Hunter Pence to left field and put Andrew McCutchen in right. S.F. also added Evan Longoria in a trade with the Rays to fill their hole at third base.
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