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Cubs deal former first-round pick Jackson to D-backs

Chicago receives Minor League right-hander Cooper in exchange for outfielder

NEW YORK -- The Cubs dealt 2009 first-round Draft pick Brett Jackson to the D-backs late Thursday for Minor League right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper.

Cooper, 26, was 4-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 41 relief appearances combined for Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno this year. He was named to the 2014 Southern League All-Star team, posting a 1.85 ERA in 24 games with Mobile. However, Cooper had a 6.00 ERA in 17 games at Reno, giving up 16 earned runs on 25 hits and 17 walks over 24 innings. A 12th-round pick in 2010, Cooper is 16-15 with 16 saves and a 3.27 ERA in five Minor League seasons.

Jackson, who turned 26 on Aug. 2, was the 31st player taken overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Injuries slowed the outfielder, limiting him to 61 games last season at Triple-A Iowa.

In 81 games at Iowa this year, Jackson was batting .210 with eight doubles, four triples, five homers and 20 RBIs. Jackson was called up to the big leagues in August 2012, but batted .175 in 44 games. Jackson's strikeout totals were high -- in 2012, he fanned 158 times over 106 games at Iowa.

"I leave some close teammates and some close friends, but I'm excited for the next chapter," Jackson told the Des Moines Register.

According to the Arizona Republic, Jackson will be assigned to Triple-A Reno. The move opens a spot on the Cubs' 40-man roster.

"We were going to have a roster crunch coming up, and we know that," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday. "We were trying to get ahead of that a little bit. It had been two straight years at Iowa where [Jackson] had been struggling.

"I wish him luck," Hoyer said. "Here, it would've been a situation where we would've had to take him off the roster. Arizona was able to get something done before we had to make that decision."

Hoyer said the Cubs were not sure where Cooper will report, and he could go to Double-A Tennessee because of an overload of pitchers at Iowa.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Blake Cooper, Brett Jackson