Saturday, July 21, 2018
Sports

Veteran outfielder lands with Chisox

CHICAGO — The White Sox bolstered their outfield depth Sunday when free agent Austin Jackson agreed to a $5 million, one-year contract.

Jackson played for the Mariners and Cubs last season, batting .267 with a .311 on-base percentage and a .385 slugging percentage in 136 games. He is .273/.333/.399 in 860 career games over six seasons and has 106 steals in 146 attempts.

Chicago had been searching for outfield depth for much of the winter. Centerfielder Adam Eaton is coming back from offseason shoulder surgery, and rightfielder Avisail Garcia coming off a so-so season.

Jackson, 29, has played mostly centerfield in the majors. According to several reports, he had an offer from the Angels but chose the White Sox because they promised him playing time in center. Los Angeles' centerfielder is superstar Mike Trout.

Jackson made his major-league debut with Detroit in 2003. He played for the Tigers for four-plus seasons before he was traded to the Mariners in a deadline deal in 2014 that moved ace David Price from the Rays to Detroit.

Also, the White Sox said first baseman Adam LaRoche's back spasms were not serious enough to merit getting an MRI exam. The team said there was no nerve damage.

SUSPENSION OVERTURNED: After all that, Chase Utley is safe.

The two-game suspension imposed on the Dodgers infielder after his hard takeout slide broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last season's playoffs has been dropped.

Major League Baseball and the players union reached an agreement that rescinded the ban, the Associated Press reported Sunday. The Dodgers declined comment, pending an official release.

Tejada said he wasn't upset with the decision.

"No. I don't care really," he said. "I care about me. I'm healthy here. I'm happy here. I don't care about what's going to happen there."

MEJIA BAN: Players union executive director Tony Clark said he wasn't aware of any concerns raised by suspended Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia about his legal defense. Mejia drew a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball last month after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the third time. Last week, Mejia told the New York Times that he was the victim of a "conspiracy" by MLB and the union should have done more for him.

GIANTS: Rightfielder Hunter Pence (right Achilles tendinitis) is expected to make his spring debut Wednesday after taking batting practice and moving around on the field the past two days.

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