Seattle continued making moves ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline to reshape their outfield by getting centerfielder Austin Jackson from the Detroit Tigers in a 3-team deal that sent David Price to Motown from the Rays. The M's parted with infielder Nick Franklin in the deal, ending the tenure with the team of one of the most highly-rated prospects to ever come through the organization.
Like Chris Denorfia who was added earlier, Jackson -- a right-handed hitter who played with Lloyd McClendon the past several seasons when Lloyd served as the Tigers' hitting coach -- will join the club in Baltimore on Friday. The 27-year-old Jackson was hitting .270/.330/.397 for Detroit this season, very similar to the .277/.342/.413 career slash that he's accumulated since the start of 2010 that he brings to the M's.
This marks the second time in Jackson's career that he's been part of a 3-team deal, having initially landed in Detroit from the New York Yankees as part of the trade that moved Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Max Scherzer, among others, back in December of 2009.
Jackson is arbitration eligible for the last time prior to 2015, so the Mariners have control of him for at least the remainder of this season and all of next, a trait that General Manager Jack Zduriencik had been adamant about in recent weeks that the club was looking to add in any deals.
The switch-hitting Franklin, 23, was batting .294/.392/.455 in 75 games with Triple-A Tacoma this season. After serving as Seattle's primary second baseman for more than 100 games in 2013, Franklin was displaced by the addition of Robinson Cano this past winter and then lost out on the shortstop battle in spring with Brad Miller. Nick was added to the big league roster for two separate stints this year with the M's but struggled, collecting only six hits in 47 at bats for a .128/.192/.170 slash. For his Mariners' career he hit .214/.291/.358 in 119 games.
Being able to add Jackson, Denorfia and Morales to the big league roster without losing anything from the 25-man roster -- and perhaps most importantly, no one from the pitching staff -- has to be seen as a big win for Zduriencik. The Mariners enter play Thursday night 3 games back (and one team back) of the second Wild Card spot in the American League and should be getting left-handed starter James Paxton back soon, too.
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