Kudos to Rafael Belliard. For two reasons.

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There are two notable things about this article in the Detroit Free Press:

  • It catches us up with former Pirates and Braves shortstop Rafael Belliard, who is friends and neighbors with Luis Salazar. Belliard passes along some encouraging words Salazar told him during a recent hospital visit; and
  • There’s a picture of Belliard — who is now an infield coach for the Tigers — showing current Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta how to field his position.

I defy anyone to look at that pic and tell me that, at least defensively speaking, you wouldn’t rather have Belliard as your shortstop — at age 49 — than Peralta right now.

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.