The Chicago Cubs aren’t playing around. With about a month left before the playoffs, the team is still looking for ways to improve. They showed as much Monday, acquiring outfielder Austin Jackson from the Seattle Mariners.
The move, while not major, should help the team down the stretch. Jorge Soler is currently sidelined due to an oblique issue, and neither Chris Coghlan or Chris Denorfia have established themselves as full-time options.
Jackson is hitting .272/.312/.387, so he isn’t really an upgrade at the plate. He can play center field and has some value as a pinch runner, though. Jackson’s stolen base figures are somewhat questionable, as he’s been caught nine times this season, but he’s the type of guy who could go first to third on a single, and that can make a big difference during a playoff game.
The Cubs aren’t counting on Jackson to be a full-time player, and that’s probably a good thing. While he could probably still start on other teams, he’ll make for one heck of a fourth outfielder with Chicago. The club didn’t give up much to acquire Jackson, so the move makes sense.
Austin Jackson traded to Cubs for player to be named and possible international slot.
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) August 31, 2015
For Seattle, the trade allows them to get a look at Brad Miller in center. Miller hasn’t really developed as a shortstop, but the team is still looking for a way to keep him involved. If he can prove himself over the final month, there’s a chance he’ll work his way into the team’s future plans. If not, the club will be looking for replacements during the offseason.
While the trade benefits both clubs, the Cubs side is more significant now. It doesn’t look like a major acquisition on paper, but Jackson could play a significant role down the stretch if used correctly.
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