The A’s acquired 1B/LF Conor Jackson from the Diamondbacks for minor league RHP Sam Demel today. It’s a very small move, and on balance, I think I’d rather have Demel than Jackson.
Jackson had three solid but unspectacular seasons with the D’Backs from 2006 through 2008. He plays 1B and LF, and even when he was healthy, he didn’t really hit enough for the positions. His numbers remind me of Ryan Garko’s. Jackson is 28 this year.
Jackson missed almost all of 2009 with Valley Fever, which is a fungal disease common to the dry areas of the Southwest U.S. and Northern Mexico.
Apparently, it lives in the ground, where it remains dormant for long periods, and then spores when it rains. It generally remains in the soil unless the soil is disturbed by the wind, construction, or other activity. Symptoms are similar to influenza, but can be more serious in certain people.
Demel is 24 years old this year, and was a third round draft pick in 2007 (120th overall). He’s been used entirely in relief in his professional career.
Demel’s got good stuff, with 172 Ks in 152 minor league innings pitched, but he doesn’t appear to have major league command yet. He’s fairly close, though, and when/if he gets it, he could be a useful right-handed short man for the Snakes.