May 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson (14) hits a double in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers are in the market for a right handed hitting outfielder this offseason and could look to a familiar name to roam the outfield of Comerica Park in Austin Jackson.
The Tigers need a third and possibly a fourth outfielder next season. Currently, the Tigers outfield is comprised of Anthony Gose, J.D. Martinez, and Tyler Collins. There have been rumors that the Tigers will re-sign Rajai Davis to a deal, but still may be in the market for another outfielder.
Since the Tigers traded Jackson to Seattle in the deal that netted the Tigers David Price, Jackson has not produced at the best rate. After hitting at a .277/.342/.413 career clip with the Tigers, Jackson only hit .257/.297/.343 with the Mariners and .236/.304/.375 with the Chicago Cubs.
A return to Detroit may be best for Jackson and the Tigers in 2016. Jackson will not cost the Tigers a much money and should supply the Tigers with above average defense, even in left field.
MLB Trade Rumors has listed Jackson as the 35th best free agent on the market this offseason. They predict that he will sign with the Colorado Rockies on a one-year, $12 million. They do not list the Tigers as a destination, but list the Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, Braves, Reds, White Sox, and Indians as possible destinations.
The Tigers will never be eliminated from signing Jackson as he is a Scott Boras client. Boras has always had a relationship with the Tigers since they signed Pudge before the 2004 season.
Jackson could either take a risk on himself or play it safe this offseason. He could either sign a modest one-year deal and play his way into a bigger contract, or take a mid-level deal for 4 years.