Update (8:53 PM EST): The deal is now official, as Jackson has passed his physical, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes reports. Mike Olt has been designated for assignment to make room for Jackson on the 40-man roster.
At long last, Austin Jackson has a home. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the White Sox have agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the outfielder. Heyman adds that Jackson could have signed for more money elsewhere, but he valued the opportunity to continue playing center field rather than switching to left field.
Jackson, 29, spent last season with the Mariners and the Cubs, hitting an aggregate .267/.311/.385 with nine home runs, 48 RBI, 56 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 527 plate appearances. The Mariners traded him to the Cubs at the end of August ahead of the waiver trade deadline.
Jackson joins an outfield that includes Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia, and Melky Cabrera.
The Angels, Indians, and Brewers were previously rumored to have had interest in Jackson.
The White Sox have a lot of new faces in camp this year, including Todd Frazier, Jimmy Rollins, Brett Lawrie, and Alex Avila. Still, the club is in search of left-handed power, Bruce Levine notes for CBS Chicago. Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez are among the players they’re targeting.
Bruce nearly went to the Blue Jays in a three-team deal that also included the Angels, but the deal fell through. The rebuilding Reds would still, presumably, have interest in moving the veteran as part of their rebuilding process. The White Sox already acquired Frazier from the Reds over the offseason, and the Reds also moved closer Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees.
The Rockies did have a surplus of starting outfielders following the Gerardo Parra signing, but they traded Corey Dickerson to the Rays. But the club is in a transition phase of its own and would presumably like to capitalize on Gonzalez’s value before he hits free agency after the 2017 season.
Cubs infielder Munenori Kawasaki isn’t exactly a superstar, but he’s among the most entertaining players in baseball today (non-Cespedes division). He gave a legendary post-game interview after delivering a walk-off two-run double on May 26, 2013 against the Orioles. And another after the Blue Jays advanced to the ALCS last year.
He turned things up a notch on Friday, as he sung some karaoke in front of his new Cubs teammates. His selection? “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
How do you not like this guy?
Angels lefties C.J. Wilson and Tyler Skaggs are likely to begin the 2016 regular season on the disabled list, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports. The club is still hopeful that both pitchers will be able to rejoin the roster before the month of April comes to a close.
Wilson was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis on February 22. That was, all things considered, good news for the Angels as Wilson underwent surgery on his left elbow last August. He’s in the final year of his contract with the Halos, who could look to trade the veteran by the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline.
Skaggs is still on his way back from Tommy John surgery, having undergone the procedure in August 2014. He was originally drafted by the Angels in the first round of the 2009 draft, then was traded to the Diamondbacks in the Dan Haren deal back in August 2010. In December 2013, the Angels got him back in the three-team Mark Trumbo trade that also involved the White Sox. When Skaggs is healthy enough to pitch regularly, he’ll likely have to work his way back starting at Triple-A Salt Lake.
MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports that the White Sox have signed reliever Kameron Loe to a minor league contract. He adds that the veteran has been assigned to the minor league side of camp, which speaks to the unlikelihood he makes the club’s 25-man roster out of spring training.
Loe, 34, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. He spent last summer with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League after receiving a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball for a positive drug test. In 57 1/3 innings, Loe compiled a 4.87 ERA with 44 strikeouts and nine walks.
The White Sox likely value Loe more for his ability to help the younger players in camp and inform them about the dangers of using drugs.