The Chicago White Sox announced on Saturday that they signed 29-year old outfielder Conor Jackson to a minor-league deal and optioned him to Triple-A Charlotte. Jackson was originally drafted in the first round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft (No. 19 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has played seven season in the major leagues. Over the course of his career, the six-foot-two outfielder has amassed a .271/.351/.407 line at the plate, but his most productive season is a distant memory at this point.
In 2008, Jackson produced 3.0 Wins Above Replacement (rWAR) over 621 plate appearances and 144 games, according to Baseball Reference, but he has failed to come anywhere close to those numbers since that time. In June of 2010, the Diamondbacks traded him with cash to the Oakland Athletics for Sam Demel, in 2011 the Athletics dealt him with cash to the Boston Red Sox for Jason Rice, and after signing with the Texas Rangers this past offseason he was released on March 26 in a round of Spring Training roster cuts.
This is a low-risk investment for the White Sox, and if Jackson can recapture his 2008 form, it might just pay off. Otherwise the move provides outfield depth in the minor league system and another experienced major league player to elevate in a pinch if the injury bug hits the Sox.
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