HOUSTON (AP) — The Chicago Cubs acquired outfielder Austin Jackson from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, boosting their depth for their run at a possible playoff spot.
Chicago sent a player to be named and money for an international draft slot to the Mariners.
Because the deal was made before Sept. 1, Jackson will be eligible for the postseason if the Cubs get that far. Chicago began the day with a 5½-game lead over San Francisco for the second NL wild-card berth.
Jackson had been set to bat leadoff and play center field Monday night at Houston. He was scratched from the lineup more than hour before gametime.
The 28-year-old Jackson was traded from Detroit to the Mariners in July 2014. He was hitting .272 with eight homers and 38 RBIs in 107 games this season.
The Cubs have been using Dexter Fowler in center field. He’s been banged up some, and Jackson could help improve the Cubs’ defense, maybe as a late-inning replacement in left field for Kyle Schwarber.
Mariners interim general manager Jeff Kingston announced the trade Monday night.
“Obviously we would prefer to be buyers than sellers at this point, but I think for us and the Seattle Mariners at this point in time, it’s more about the future, looking ahead and trying to balance the short-term with the long-term,” he said.
Kingston took over last week after GM Jack Zduriencik was fired. The Mariners have had a disappointing season and were 61-70 when they made the trade.
After the trade was announced, Ketel Marte was inserted into the Seattle lineup at shortstop and Brad Miller moved from shortstop to center field.
Kingston said one of the benefits of the trade is that Miller will get more time in center field.
“I think we’d like to see quite a bit of it,” Kingston said. “I just spoke to (manager) Lloyd (McClendon) about it and I think that at this point in time that’s probably his best fit for this organization going forward. We think he has the components and skillset to play out there. If he can play out there it’s a huge asset to this organization.”
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