The Giants have continued their busy offseason with the signing of former Indians outfielder Austin Jackson.
The veteran free agent Austin Jackson signed a two-year $6 million contract and could earn an additional $2.5 million in escalators and bonuses.
In 2017, with the Cleveland Indians, Jackson hit a slash line of .318/.387/.482 with 7 home runs and 46 runs scored in just 280 at-bats. Jackson also had a .387 on-base percentage with 89 hits, 35 RBI, a 1.9 WAR, and a 126 OPS+ (100 is league average).
The 31-year-old veteran is a career .275 hitter with 62 homers, 349 RBIs, 111 steals, and 24.1 WAR in 999 career games.
This acquisition was somewhat surprising after the Giants seemed to be top competitors for Royals free agent centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, even after the McCutchen trade, but it is also sensible since the Giants reportedly do not want to go over the $197 million Luxury Tax threshold.
The San Francisco Giants have made a plethora of offseason acquisitions and trades, including former Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen and former Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. After this acquisition, the 2018 Giants lineup, if the season were to start today, will look something like this…
- 2B Joe Panik
- RF Andrew McCutchen
- C Buster Posey
- 3B Evan Longoria
- 1B Brandon Belt
- LF Hunter Pence
- SS Brandon Crawford
- CF Austin Jackson
The Giants had a National League-worst 64-98 record with an atrocious .395 win-loss percentage in 2017, and the Giants front office is desperately striving to prove to the baseball world that their laughable 2017 season was nothing more than a fluke.
The reality of the matter is, whether you like it or not, the Giants have immensely improved their lineup from 2017, and while they have virtually no chance at catching their division rival Los Angeles Dodgers, they have a good shot at a Wild Card berth. Austin Jackson will give the Giants a solid bat and glove in the outfield and will bring a veteran presence to a team that is going to be competing for a playoff spot in the best division in baseball in 2018.