Tigers acquire Jackson from Rays
LAS VEGAS ” The Tigers acquired right-hander Edwin Jackson from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday for outfielder Matt Joyce, Detroit’s second trade in three days at the winter meetings.
Jackson is set to join a rotation alongside Justin Verlander, Armando Galarraga and Jeremy Bonderman, who had surgery in late June to correct a condition that caused a blood clot in his pitching arm.
Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski has filled two of the Tigers’ biggest offseason needs after trading for catcher Gerald Laird on Monday. Laird was acquired from the Rangers in a swap that sent right-handed pitching prospects Guillermo Moscoso and Carlos Melo to Texas.
The 25-year-old Jackson went 14-11 with a 4.42 ERA in 31 starts and 32 appearances for the AL champion Rays this season, pitching a career-best 183 1-3 innings. He spent three seasons with Tampa Bay following three for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Everybody in baseball has known his ability and potential for years,” Dombrowski said. “He took a step forward last year and hopefully he’ll take a step forward for us. … We’re in a spot where we get a pitcher we think will help us. He pitched on a World Series club last year. He’s got great stuff.”
While Dombrowski didn’t necessarily want to give up Joyce, the outfield is his club’s deepest position ” with reliable regulars Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez as the anchors.
A Tampa native, the 24-year-old Joyce batted .252 with 12 home runs and 33 RBIs in 92 games for the Tigers in 2008 as a rookie. He ranked third among AL rookies with a .492 slugging percentage after beginning the season with Triple-A Toledo. Joyce made his major league debut in May.
Rays general manager Andrew Friedman will keep looking to upgrade the offense with a designated hitter/right fielder but called Joyce “an above-average defensive right fielder.”
“It gives us a little more comfort if we can’t acquire that bat,” Friedman said. “Having roster flexibility and depth is something that’s extremely important to us.”
The Tigers also were working to complete a one-year contract worth about $1 million for shortstop Adam Everett after he worked out for the team last week.
Everett batted just .213 with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 48 games for the Minnesota Twins last season, limited by a shoulder injury. He appeared in only 66 games the previous year for Houston, but the Tigers believe Everett will be a reliable option at shortstop.
The addition of the 31-year-old Everett would help settle some instability manager Jim Leyland faced in the infield this season. With Everett, Brandon Inge can return full-time to his natural spot at third base after catching 60 games in 2008, playing 51 at third and 15 in the outfield, including 13 in center.