The two-year, $6 million deal includes bonuses based on playing time, and other escalators could increase the overall value of the deal to $8.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
“We are excited to have Austin join the Giants”, said Giants senior vice president and general manager Bobby Evans. “He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions.”
Jackson, who will turn 31 on Feb. 1, played in 85 games last season for the Cleveland Indians, providing them some outfield depth and insurance for All-Star Michael Brantley, who missed more than seven weeks because of a bothersome ankle injury. Jackson batted .318 with seven homers, 35 RBIs, three stolen bases and a .869 OPS last season for the American League Central champions.
Jackson played only 54 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2016. Before that, he played in 2015 for the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago Cubs, batting .267 with nine homers and 48 RBIs in 136 games. He played for the Detroit Tigers for four-plus seasons, before he was traded to Seattle in a multiteam 2014 deadline deal that moved ace David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays to Detroit.
A right-handed batter, Jackson has played mostly center field during his seven seasons in the majors. He is a .275 hitter with 62 homers, 349 RBIs and 111 steals in 999 career games.