Austin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox, with the outfielder agreeing to a one year, $5 million deal to play center field for Chicago, according to multiple reports.
Jackson, you may recall, was someone we had talked about as a possible target for the Texas Rangers this offseason, at least prior to the team signing Ian Desmond. I'm a bit thrown that the Rangers apparently preferred Desmond at $8M, plus forfeiting a pick, over Jackson at $5 million with no pick given up. Jon Heyman says that Jackson chose Chicago because they offered him a chance to play center field, whereas the Angels, who made an offer to him recently, would have put him in left field.
From the Rangers' point of view, it seems like putting Jackson in center with Josh Hamilton hurt wouldn't be a problem, as Jackson is generally considered to be a superior defender to Delino DeShields, and DeShields seems like a better fit in left field, long-term.
It will be interesting to watch how Desmond and Jackson compare this season. The Rangers opted for the added versatility and willingness to change positions of Desmond, and seem to think he's poised for a bounceback year. We shall see...