Padres and Chris Denorfia avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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With tomorrow night’s deadline for teams to tender 2011 contracts to arbitration-eligible players looming, Chris Denorfia and the Padres have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

Signed last December after being let go by the A’s following a miserable Triple-A performance, Denorfia earned a mid-May call-up to San Diego and then hit .271 with a .335 on-base percentage and .433 slugging percentage in 99 games for the Padres.

He’s likely to serve as San Diego’s fourth outfielder in 2011 following the team’s trade for Cameron Maybin last month, and Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres are likely to non-tender fellow arbitration-eligible bench candidates Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston.

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.