Great Moments in Strategy: Jim Tracy

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Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy is sneaky:

Fifth starter Jason Hammel will pitch in
the team’s Cactus League opener Thursday, facing the Diamondbacks.
Opening-day starter Ubaldo Jimenez will make his first start Friday
against the Angels rather than pitch against the Giants that same day.

“That is by design,” Tracy said, not wanting to give San Francisco any unnecessary looks at his ace.

Given that (a) in his career, Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched more innings against the Giants than any other team; and (b) the Giants probably spring for the Extra Innings package, I’m guessing they’ll survive without seeing him pitch some meaningless early March game in Tucson.

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.