Orioles ink Conor Jackson to minor league contract

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As first reported by MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles agreed on Wednesday to a minor league contract with free agent utilityman Conor Jackson.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where Jackson will be given a chance to compete for a spot on Baltimore’s Opening Day 25-man roster.

Jackson batted .277/.363/.434 with nine home runs and 41 RBI in 88 games this past season for Triple-A Charlotte — an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

The 30-year-old former first-round pick is a .271/.351/.407 career hitter in the major leagues.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.