An Austin Jackson trade has been completed by the Seattle Mariners. As part of the Jackson trade, the Mariners give up infielder Nick Franklin. According to a report from CBS Sports on Thursday (July 31), this was part of a big three-team deal that sends David Price to the Detroit Tigers. Franklin goes to the Tampa Bay Rays along with some other pieces from the Tigers, but this boils down to the Mariners giving up one player and adding one in the same deal.
With the Tigers this season, Jackson had a .270 batting average, .330 on-base percentage, and 34 extra base hits to his credit. He is a career .277/.342 hitter and immediately makes the outfield defense better for the Mariners. He can play all three outfield spots, with the possibility there that he could also hit first or second in the new batting order. The 27-year-old has one more arbitration year (2015) before he becomes a free agent, but could be extended at any time.
This might come off as a desperate move by the Seattle Mariners, but an Austin Jackson trade gives the team a right-handed hitting outfielder that can be near the top of the lineup now. In the updated 2014 MLB standings, it shows that the Mariners had to do something to keep pace with teams like the New York Yankees and catch up to the Toronto Blue Jays. Entering play on Thursday, they trail the Blue Jays by three games for that second wild card slot.
With the acquisitions of Jackson and outfielder Chris Denorfia from the San Diego Padres on deadline day, the new-look outfield for the Mariners will include two guys from the right side of the plate. Corresponding roster moves will come at some point in order to clear spots on the 25-man roster, with the likely scenario that Stefen Romero and one other player head to Triple-A Tacoma. With this trade for Jackson, it appears that general manager Jack Zduriencik could have really pleased fans.