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Indians sign Austin Jackson to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed outfielder Austin Jackson to a minor league contract, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, if Jackson makes the major league roster, he’ll earn a $1.5 million base salary with an additional $4 million available in incentives.

Jackson, who turns 30 years old on February 1, had a forgettable 2016 season. He hit .254/.318/.343 with 14 extra-base hits (zero home runs) and 18 RBI in 203 plate appearances with the White Sox before going down with a knee injury in June. Jackson underwent surgery to repair the medial meniscus in his right knee shortly thereafter and missed the rest of the season.

Jackson could be a right-handed-hitting complement to the left-handed-hitting Tyler Naquin in center field. In the event things don’t work out in Jackson’s favor, he has an opt-out clause at the end of spring training.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.