Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BOSTON - The Red Sox made one more transaction to bolster their roster, acquiring outfielder/first baseman Conor Jackson from the Oakland A's, in return for minor league reliever Jason Rice.
To make room for Jackson on the 40-man roster, reliever Bobby Jenks was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Jackson, 29, a right-handed batter, has also played a little third base for the A's. He was batting .249 for the A's. He was not especially better against left-handed pitching (.254) than right-handed (.246).
His arrival could mean diminished playing time for outfielder Darnell McDonald and utility player Mike Aviles.
McDonald, 32, has struggled, batting .195 (.220 against lefties). He has improved during the year, batting .253 since June.
Aviles, 30, was acquired last month from Kansas City. A .244 hitter, Aviles hits lefties well (.311). He is normally a utility infielder, but the Red Sox have tried him in the outfield, a position he may not be ready to take on yet.
With Kevin Youkilis returning from the disabled list on Friday, Aviles will fall farther down the depth chart.
The Red Sox have all September to figure out what parts work best for their playoff roster.
Rice, 25, pitched for the Sea Dogs all of last year (2.85 ERA, 13 saves). He originally came to the Red Sox organization before the 2009 season, having been snatched from the White Sox in the minor league Rule V draft.
Rice took part in major league spring training camp this past February and early March, but has not been put on the 40-man roster. He has pitched in Pawtucket all year (3.69 ERA, four saves).
Wednesday was the last day to made trades, but only for players who had cleared waivers. The Jackson-Rice deal was not announced until early Thursday morning because of the A's 16-inning game with Cleveland Wednesday night.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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