Cubs add depth, land Jackson from Mariners
CHICAGO -- Looking for bench help for their postseason push, the Cubs have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson and a cash consideration from the Mariners for a player to be named later and international signing bonus slot No. 4, worth about $210,000. To make room for Jackson on the 40-man roster, infielder Mike Olt has been designated for assignment.
A right-handed hitter, Jackson was batting .272 in 107 games with the Mariners and had 15 stolen bases. The five-year veteran has heated up over the last month, hitting .314 with a .339 on-base percentage across August. After finishing a double shy of the cycle in his last game on Sunday, Jackson now has 16 hits over his nine-game hitting streak.
"I've seen him for a long time in the American League," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "He's a really good player. When he starts swinging the bat really well he's very productive. He's a fine outfielder, good base runner.
"He's kind of the complete player. So to be able to pick him up right now, I think we're very fortunate."
By finalizing the deal before 11 p.m. CT, Jackson is eligible for the postseason. Any player in the Cubs organization by that deadline is eligible.
He does have postseason experience with the Tigers, reaching the World Series in 2012 and the American League Championship Series in '11 and '13. Chicago still holds the National League's second Wild Card spot before rosters expand from 25 players to 40 on Tuesday.
The Mariners acquired Jackson at the 2014 non-waiver Trade Deadline in a three-team trade with Tampa Bay and Detroit. Entering Monday, Seattle sits fourth in the AL West division, though, and is eight games back of the second Wild Card spot.
Jackson joins the Cubs while outfielder Jorge Soler remains on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. But Chicago's bench remains thin in the outfield with Kyle Schwarber, Chris Coghlan and Dexter Fowler all seeing regular playing time as of late.
The Cubs' other candidates for the bench role include Quintin Berry and Emilio Bonifacio, who were signed to Minor League contracts. Both Berry and Bonifacio are expected to be called up Tuesday when rosters expand.
"You never know what's going to happen during the course of the next month," Maddon said. "If somebody were to get hurt again that really backs you against the wall. So we talked to [president of baseball operations] Theo [Epstein] about it today and went back and forth about it, why you would do something like that."