The Braves announced on Monday night that the club acquired minor league outfielder Alex Jackson and a player to be named later from the Mariners in exchange for pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse. The Mariners designated pitcher Ryan Weber for assignment to open roster space.
Jackson, 20, was selected by the Mariners in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2014 draft. In his second season at Single-A Clinton, Jackson hit .243/.332/.408 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 381 plate appearances. MLB Pipeline rated Jackson as the sixth-best prospect in the Mariners’ system.
Whalen, 22, made his major league debut this past season, making five starts. He yielded 20 runs (18 earned) on 20 hits and 12 walks with 25 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He will most likely open the season with Triple-A Tacoma.
Povse, 23, split the season between High-A Carolina and Double-A Mississippi, putting up a 3.36 ERA and a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 158 innings. The right-hander could potentially open the year at Triple-A Tacoma as well.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.