Chris Volstad, Vin Mazzaro, Brayan Pena among Royals’ roster cuts

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Kansas City trimmed seven players from its 40-man roster today by designating them for assignment, including catcher Brayan Pena and right-handers Chris Volstad and Vin Mazzaro.

Pena has been the Royals’ backup catcher for the past four seasons, but hasn’t hit since a solid showing in 2009 and has a career .248 batting average with a .635 OPS in 335 games at age 31.

Volstad was claimed off waivers from the Cubs last month, but at the time I noted that it was odd because the Royals seemingly shouldn’t want to keep him at his likely $2-3 million arbitration price for 2013. It turns out they didn’t.

Mazzaro was acquired from the A’s for David DeJesus in November of 2010, but he’s been terrible for the Royals with a 6.22 ERA and 36/34 K/BB ratio in 72 innings.

Other Royals roster cuts: Left-hander Ryan Verdugo, catcher Adam Moore, first baseman Clint Robinson, and outfielder Derrick Robinson.

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.