Mariners acquire OF Austin Jackson in three-team deal
The Mariners have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson in a three-team trade that will also send infielder Nick Franklin to Tampa Bay, one of two moves the club made before Thursdays’ trade deadline.
The right-handed-hitting Jackson, 27, is hitting .270 with four home runs and 32 RBIs in 99 games this season. He’s a .277 hitter in five big-league seasons and his best season was in 2012 when he hit .300 with 16 home runs and 66 RBIs.
Earlier Thursday, the Mariners acquired 34-year-old outfielder Chris Denorfia from the Padres in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers – outfielder Abraham Almonte and pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen.
“I think we’re satisfied by where we are today,” general manager Jack Zduriencik told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” Thursday afternoon, about an hour after the 1 p.m. trade deadline had passed.
“In this deal, we feel like we were able to hold on to a lot of our key prospects in the organization, our young players at the big-league level, but still add a couple of pieces we think that help us and I think that was important through the whole process.”
Jackson is arbitration-eligble in 2015 and can become a free agent after that season. He’s making $6 million this season, according to BaseballReference.com.
His trade to Seattle reunites him with Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, who was Jackson’s hitting coach in Detroit.
“The fact that Lloyd had a relationship with him is really, really important,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said.
The three-way trade also included a swap of pitchers, with David Price going to Detroit and Tampa Bay getting Drew Smyly.
The Mariners’ moves address an outfield that hasn’t provided much offensive production this season, even with Dustin Ackley hitting .386 in July. Jackson is an upgrade over James Jones, who has seen his average fall to .258. Denorfia, a right-handed hitter, has hit lefties well throughout his career.
Franklin, a first-round pick by the Mariners in 2009, didn’t have a clear path to a big-league job with Robinson Cano signed for the long term at second base and other options at shortstop.