What looked to be a homecoming for Austin Jackson never got off the ground, and the Texas Rangers ended any chance of a local-kid-comes-home story line Wednesday when they designated the Denton native for assignment.
The Rangers never intended on giving Jackson playing time after acquiring him Sunday from the San Francisco Giants in a trade that also included right-handed reliever Cory Gearrin and righty prospect Jason Bahr.
The Rangers now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Jackson to the minors. He has the right to refuse outright assignment and to become a free agent.
In essence, the Rangers purchased a prospect they liked and a reliever who could offer immediate help by agreeing to take on Jackson and the remaining $4.3 million on his contract.
The Giants received financial flexibility as they consider making additions at the July 31 trade deadline, and will get either a player to be named or cash considerations.
The Rangers are on the hook for all of Jackson's contract, minus the prorated league minimum that a team that claims him would have to pay this season. The Rangers would get relief in 2019 as well.
Jackson became a star at Denton Ryan High School, and was the New York Yankees' eighth-round pick in 2005. He made his MLB debut in 2010 with the Detroit Tigers and was the runner-up for American League Rookie of the Year.
The Rangers would have been the seventh organization he played for and the sixth since 2014.
Gearrin made his Rangers debut on Monday, retiring all five batters he faced in relief of Mike Minor. Bahr has been assigned to High A Down East and is expected to debut there Saturday.