Mariners announce deal with first-round pick Alex Jackson

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Making official what was reported last week, the Mariners announced that they’ve signed first-round draft pick Alex Jackson.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the deal is worth $4.2 million, which is about $600,000 more than the slot-recommended signing bonus for the No. 6 overall pick and will cost them a luxury tax penalty on top on that money.

Jackson was a high school catcher, but the Mariners drafted him for his high-upside bat and are expected top make him a full-time outfielder in the minors. Baseball America rated him as the fourth-best prospect in the draft class.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.