By Bruce Levine–
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — With injuries creeping in on some regulars early in spring training, the White Sox took out some insurance on their lineup Sunday, inking 29-year-old outfielder Austin Jackson to a one-year, $5-million deal.
With the lingering shoulder issue that outfielder Adam Eaton is dealing with, the addition of a veteran outfielder who has plus defensive ability in center field gives the club some much-needed depth.
“Austin provides us with another talented outfield option,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “His addition to the roster provides Robin (Ventura) with additional flexibility from both the defensive and offensive standpoint.”
In addition to Eaton and Jackson, Avisail Garcia and Melky Cabrera are the other two main players in the White Sox’s outfield mix.
Jackson’s a career .273 hitter in 860 major league games. In 136 games combined between the Mariners and Cubs in 2015, Jackson hit .267 with nine homers, 48 RBIs and a .696 OPS. His on-base percentage has fallen into the low .300s the last two seasons, and he struck out once every 4.2 plate appearances in 2015.
The White Sox also are monitoring the back spasms of first baseman/designated hitter Adam LaRoche, who was sent home to rest Sunday after the team’s medical staff ruled out any structure damage. LaRoche came out of Saturday’s game complaining of back pain after two at-bats.
Chicago designated infielder Mike Olt for assignment in order to create a space on the 40-man roster for Jackson.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.