Free-agent center fielder Austin Jackson is garnering interest from at least three major league clubs.
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Jackson Getting Interest in Free Agency
Thursday, Jan. 21
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels are interested in the athletic Jackson, who batted .267 in 2015.
Crasnick also speculated that the Chicago Cubs may consider signing Jackson "for the right price."
The two-time American League leader in triples has played for three teams in his six-year career, spending four-and-a-half of those seasons with the Detroit Tigers.
Known more for his glove than his bat, Jackson has seen his batting average drop since the Tigers traded him. He batted a career-best .300 in 2012 and hit .277 over the course of his tenure in Detroit, but his average dropped to .257 with the Mariners and .236 in 29 games with the Cubs.
Jackson had eight plate appearances during the Cubs' playoff run but did not record a hit.
He'll turn 29 years old Feb. 1 and is entering the prime of his career, so he could provide plenty of help in the outfield. He has a fielding percentage of .990 and has committed only 22 errors in his career.
The Rangers were in the mix for Justin Upton, per Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, before he signed a six-year deal with the Tigers, but their outfield has no need for a replacement with Josh Hamilton, Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo in place. The Angels also seem to be set with Daniel Nava, Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout in their outfield.
Nava is 32, so Los Angeles could go younger and more athletic with Jackson in left field.
That leaves the two National League Central teams, and the Brewers may be the favorite. The Cubs just invested $184 million to lure Jason Heyward away from St. Louis, so their need for another outfielder isn't as pressing. The Brewers have Khris Davis and Domingo Santana, along with Ryan Braun, patrolling the outfield, but they may need help in center field.