Justin Morneau will be cleared to throw in a week

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The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Justin Morneau would be cleared for baseball activities like throwing, hitting, spitting and thinking about hunting in the offseason, in about a week. From there it’s to a rehab assignment, though it would be optimistic to see him back playing before mid-August. Still, after the last year or two, anything other than “Morneau was killed in a combine accident” would have to qualify as positive news.

Still, given the less-than-spectacular nature of everyone in the AL Central, that may not be too late to make a difference for the Twins this season.  I’m still bearish on their chances, but not everyone is. The return of Morneau would be pretty key for them.

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.