Evan Longoria nearing minor league rehab assignment

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Good news for the (currently) first-place Rays.

According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, third baseman Evan Longoria “was encouraged after running the bases” on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field and is aiming to begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of next week.

“I felt good,” Longoria told the Times after his workout. “We’re still moving in the right direction.”

He’s likely to spend around 10 days playing in minor league games before being cleared for activation. The 26-year-old was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games before tearing a hamstring.

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.