The Indians have signed outfielder Austin Jackson to a minor league contract, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, if Jackson makes the major league roster, he’ll earn a $1.5 million base salary with an additional $4 million available in incentives.
Jackson, who turns 30 years old on February 1, had a forgettable 2016 season. He hit .254/.318/.343 with 14 extra-base hits (zero home runs) and 18 RBI in 203 plate appearances with the White Sox before going down with a knee injury in June. Jackson underwent surgery to repair the medial meniscus in his right knee shortly thereafter and missed the rest of the season.
Jackson could be a right-handed-hitting complement to the left-handed-hitting Tyler Naquin in center field. In the event things don’t work out in Jackson’s favor, he has an opt-out clause at the end of spring training.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.