The Giants have traded right-handed reliever Jay Jackson to the Braves in exchange for cash or a player to be named later, per a pair of team announcements. San Francisco designated Jackson for assignment on Friday while setting their 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 protection deadline. Fellow right-hander Yoan Lopez was designated for assignment in a corresponding move, per the Braves.
Jackson, 34, has found new life in the big leagues after a strong four-year run with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. He’s been with the Brewers and the Giants since returning, most recently pitching to a 3.74 ERA with an impressive 31.3% strikeout rate in 21 1/3 innings for San Francisco last season. Jackson also averaged 94.8 mph on his heater, pairing that with a sizable 13.3% swinging-strike rate. Those numbers are impressive, to be sure, but Jackson has also struggled with his command at times, walking 13.5% of his opponents since his return from NPB.
Command issues notwithstanding, Jackson makes for a solid, low-cost pickup for the reigning World Series champs. In addition to a good run with the Giants’ big league club last year, he also posted a 1.29 ERA with a gaudy 24-to-1 K/BB ratio in 14 Triple-A frames in 2021. And, despite the fact that he’s 34 years old, Jackson still has a minor league option remaining, so he can give the Braves a good bit of flexibility in the bullpen.
The 28-year-old Lopez was traded from Arizona to Atlanta in a late-May deal that sent minor league outfielder Deivi Estrada to Arizona. Lopez had a solid run in Triple-A Gwinnett, tallying 32 2/3 innings of 3.03 ERA ball with a 26.7% strikeout rate and an 8.4% walk rate in that time.
Once a high-profile international signing by the D-backs, Lopez has only tallied 101 2/3 innings in the big leagues to this point. He carries a 4.25 ERA with a solid 7.7% walk rate but a below-average 19.1% strikeout rate. The Braves will have a week to trade Lopez, place him on outright waivers or release him.