Orioles expected to name new pitching coach early next week

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The Orioles’ search for Rick Adair’s replacement is nearing its conclusion.

Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun hears that the Orioles will make a decision on their next pitching coach early next week. Word could come down as soon as Monday.

While internal candidates are being considered — including bullpen coach Bill Castro, who filled as pitching coach when Adair took a leave of absence in August — Encina hears that four external candidates have emerged as the frontrunners. This group includes Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis, former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins, and Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace.

For what it’s worth, Encina pegs Willis as the best fit for the job.

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.