The Indians and Pirates make a minor trade that got me wonderin'

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The Pirates traded minor league catcher Luke Carlin to the Indians today for a player to be named later. That this is as minor a trade as can possibly be is illustrated by the fact that the most significant part of it — Carlin, the guy who was actually named — has really only had one nice minor league season, and that came on his fourth go-around in the Pacific Coast League. A prospect, he is not.

But there is some value here, and that’s that the transaction got me wondering how such a deal even comes together on this particular day at this particular time of year.

Who calls who first? Do the Indians really covet Carlin?  Did they simply need an organizational soldier at catcher and spun the wheel?  How long does it take for such deals to come together? Is the player to-be-named really just a fiction or an IOU designed to make it look like Carlin was just given away? What I mean is, do the Pirates just let this skate until they need their own organizational soldier sometime next year, or is the player to-be-named a to-do item on some intern’s desk?

Sorry, this is just the stuff I think about.

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.