Texas Rangers rumors: Austin Jackson has cleared waivers, meaning that he can be traded at any point by the Seattle Mariners to any team.
Jackson, 28, is a true centerfielder (other than one game at DH, he's never played a position other than CF as a major leaguer) who has struggled since being traded to the M's from the Tigers at the trade deadline last year as part of the David Price trade. Jackson had a .277/.342/.413 slash line in 670 games with the Tigers pre-trade, but after going to Seattle, he put up a .229/.267/.260 line post-trade last year, and a .259/.302/.364 line this year.
As a result, a guy who totaled 18.9 bWAR from 2010-2013 has been well below-average since August 1, 2014.
Jackson is a Denton native who was an 8th round draft pick of the Yankees in 2005, and so Texas, which doesn't have a true center fielder on the 25 man roster currently, could look at possibly acquiring him to provide them with some outfield depth. Drew Stubbs was just added on a minor league deal, but Jackson is probably the better player at this point, and if Leonys Martin isn't going to make it back to the majors this year because of his broken hand, the Rangers probably need someone better than Ryan Strausborger as an option behind Delino DeShields in center field.
Jackson is owed about $1.75M for the rest of the season, and if he were to be traded, it would likely be similar to the Mike Napoli deal, where Seattle sends him and eats some money in exchange for Texas paying the rest of his contract. Jackson is a free agent after the season, so he's a true rental, but given the team's situation, he's a rental who could pay dividends.