By Chris Emma—
CHICAGO (CBS) – Looking to bolster “the depth component,” as manager Joe Maddon termed it, the Cubs acquired center fielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners on Monday, the final day to make waiver deals.
In return to Seattle, Chicago will send a player to be named later and international slot 98, while receiving cash considerations.
“He’s a really good player,” Maddon said “When he starts swinging the bat well, he’s very productive.”
Jackson is hitting .272 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 107 games played this season, primarily playing center field for Seattle. It’s possible that the Cubs could utilize Jackson’s abilities in left field and right field, too,
The Cubs are 27th out of 30 teams in outfield defensive runs saved with a -18 mark, partially due to youth and partially due to lack of range. In Jackson, Chicago acquires a player with 47 defensive runs saved in his career.
Maddon sees Jackson as an important piece for the stretch run.
“A fine outfielder, good base runner, stolen bases — he’s kind of the complete player,” Maddon said. “To be able to pick him up right now, I think we’re very fortunate.”
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated third baseman Mike Olt for assignment.
With a record of 74-55 and a 5.5-game lead for the second NL wild-card spot, the Cubs have remained aggressive in bolstering their roster for the stretch run. They acquired starter Dan Haren prior to the trade deadline, added relievers Rafael Soriano and Fernando Rodney for the bullpen and now Jackson for depth in the outfield.
Following a 2-4 West Coast road trip, the Cubs open up Wrigley Field for a six-game homestand, beginning Monday against the Reds.
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