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

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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.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.