Cliff Lee not ready to return from DL when eligible Friday

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Cliff Lee is eligible to return from the disabled list Friday, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the left-hander’s strained oblique muscle hasn’t healed enough for that to happen.

According to Zolecki he’s “improving” but will have to throw at least two bullpen sessions before being cleared to return and the first of those sessions hasn’t even been scheduled yet.

In other words, next week is seemingly now the best-case scenario for Lee, who initially wanted to avoid the DL. As usual, oblique injuries are much bigger deals than they seem at first.

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.