After missing out on high profile free agents like Yoenis Cespedes, Dexter Fowler, and Ian Desmond, the Chicago White Sox finally made a much awaited move to bolster their lineup and defense. That signing? Former Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson, who agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal on Sunday. He chose that deal over a similar offer from the Angels earlier this winter.
Jackson was very productive in four-plus seasons with the Tigers, amassing 16.1 fWAR in 670 games. He has fallen off considerably since then, however, and hit a paltry .267/.311/.385 with the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs last season. Mariners fans weren't all that enamored with him, and he only provided bench depth for the Cubs. Now, he will split time with Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia in the White Sox outfield, providing a much-needed defensive boost.
Jackson has been gone for nearly two seasons now, but there's something wrong about him moving to the White Sox. Maybe it's how much I liked him as a player. Maybe it's his place in Tigers lore, with one of the most spectacular catches you will ever see etched into our collective memory. Maybe his unceremonious mid-game send-off (against the White Sox, no less) still stings my subconscious, even more so than when I see players like Max Scherzer and Curtis Granderson in enemy colors.
Of course, it becomes a lot easier to stomach Jackson (and others) playing for division rivals when you look at the big picture. His trade was the latest in a long line of profitable deals for the Tigers, and Daniel Norris alone will likely provide more value than Jackson in 2016. It's all part of the game, and losing Jackson made the Tigers a better club for years to come.
It still won't look right, though.
Speaking of former Tigers in ugly uniforms
Our friends at Lets Go Tribe have been ranking the AL Central position-by-position, and they're of the mind that Rajai Davis is better than Cameron Maybin. Healthier maybe, but they also ignored Anthony Gose's hidden value. The right field projections are much more favorable, but that's what happens when you own a J.D. Martinez.
This story sounds familiar
Bryan Holaday, destroyer of worlds, is not going down to the minors without a fight. He hit two home runs against the Nationals on Saturday, and is spending some time at third base this spring. We don't know how good he will be at the hot corner -- here's hoping he's more Brandon Inge than Alex Avila -- but improving one's versatility is never a bad idea in today's game.
MLB.TV: everyone's favorite punching bag
Pinstripe Alley's Caitlin Rogers makes her case for MLB Extra Innings over the sometimes unreliable MLB.TV.
My biggest complaint is that the game would freeze and then go to the spinning wheel of doom multiple times per game. This seemed to always occur when something exciting was happening, leaving me to wonder how exactly the Yankees managed to score three runs during the three minutes that I missed. I actually started leaving a tab with MLB Gameday open during every game, so that I could still follow along when MLB.TV crapped out.
While I've been known to complain about MLB.TV from time to time, there's no way I could switch to Extra Innings. Not only is MLB.TV cheaper, but the on-demand functionality and number of compatible devices still make it my preferred baseball viewing service.
Now if only I could stop that damn buffering...
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