Aaron Gleeman

Austin Jackson signing means White Sox will shift Adam Eaton to corner spot


Why did Austin Jackson turn down multiple offers from other teams to sign a modest one-year, $5 million deal with the White Sox? He wanted to play center field and some of those other offers likely would have involved time as a corner outfielder.

General manager Rick Hahn told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com:

Most of, if not all of, Austin’s time will come in center. Obviously, a high quality defensive player out there and a lot of his value comes from having him in that spot.

Very true, but also of note because Adam Eaton has been the White Sox’s starting center fielder for the past two seasons and was a finalist for the Gold Glove award in 2014. Eaton is also coming off shoulder surgery and apparently Hahn had already talked to him about the possibility of shifting to a corner spot if the White Sox acquired a superior center fielder, telling Hayes:

As I talked about with Adam Eaton at the end of last season and a couple times over the offseason and once again this afternoon, we also view Adam as a very fine defensive center fielder. … Adam’s expressed a willingness to do whatever we feel makes the most sense on a given day to win a ballgame.

Chicago was pretty bad defensively in the outfield last season, but any alignment with Jackson in center field and Eaton in a corner spot is going to be very good and the White Sox will also mix and match Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia. They have a lot of quality depth, which could lead to reduced roles for Garcia or perhaps even Adam LaRoche.

Video: Korean slugger Byung Ho Park hits grand slam for first MLB homer


Byung Ho Park was a two-time MVP and four-time home run champion in Korea and went deep Sunday for the first time since signing with the Twins, smacking a grand slam to left-center field off Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

Minnesota paid $12.85 million for Park’s exclusive negotiating rights and then signed him to a four-year, $12 million deal. He’s slated to be the Twins’ starting designated hitter and, eventually, a middle-of-the-lineup power source.

Because of a high strikeout rate Park may struggle to maintain a strong batting average for the Twins, but everyone seems to agree that his power potential is for real. Last season in Korea he hit .343 with 53 homers and a 1.150 OPS in 140 games for his second straight 50-homer season and third straight year with an OPS above 1.000.

Brewers add left-hander Franklin Morales to bullpen mix


Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers have agreed to a minor-league deal with left-hander Franklin Morales, who spent last season in the Royals’ bullpen.

Morales was very solid for Kansas City with a 3.18 ERA and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 62 innings and before that he had a decent three-season run with the Red Sox. He also spent parts of six seasons–spanning two different stints–with the Rockies, for whom he posted a 5.10 ERA.

Morales has bounced around plenty while working as both a starter and a reliever, but if used in a middle relief role he has a chance to be a significant part of the rebuilding Brewers’ bullpen.