Orioles ink Conor Jackson to minor league contract

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As first reported by MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles agreed on Wednesday to a minor league contract with free agent utilityman Conor Jackson.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where Jackson will be given a chance to compete for a spot on Baltimore’s Opening Day 25-man roster.

Jackson batted .277/.363/.434 with nine home runs and 41 RBI in 88 games this past season for Triple-A Charlotte — an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

The 30-year-old former first-round pick is a .271/.351/.407 career hitter in the major leagues.

Reds claim Kennys Vargas off waivers from Twins

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The Twins’ Dustin Morse announced on Thursday that the Reds claimed first baseman Kennys Vargas off waivers. The Twins had designated him for assignment last Friday.

Vargas was a man without a spot on the Twins’ roster as he has only played first base and DH, but the club has Joe Mauer and Logan Morrison for those spots. The Reds aren’t much better as Joey Votto lays claim to first base and there is no DH in the National League. Vargas switch-hits and has some power, so he will presumably provide that off the bench for the Reds.

Across parts of four seasons in the majors, Vargas has hit .252/.311/.437 with 35 home runs and 116 RBI in 859 plate appearances.