On Monday, the San Francisco Giants signed two veteran players to minor league deals, and invited them to spring training. The additions are right-handed pitcher Jay Jackson, coming back from playing in Japan, and utility player Arismendy Alcantara, who most recently was in the Anaheim Angels organization.
Jackson, 33, was a 9th round draft pick in 2008 by the Chicago Cubs. He made his Major League debut with the San Diego Padres in 2015, posting a 6.23 ERA in six games. He went to Japan and played for three seasons for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, where he posted sub-3.00 ERA each season.
He got a second run in the Majors in 2019, when he had a 4.45 ERA in the Milwaukee bullpen over 28 appearances. In 2020, Jackson played for the Chiba Lotte Marines, where he made seven appearances, posting a 3.86 ERA. And now he’s coming back to the U.S.
Jackson works with a slider in the mid-90’s and a slider he uses as his strikeout pitch. He’ll be in the mix for a bullpen spot with a deep group. The Giants had previously signed Matt Wisler and John Brebbia to minor league contracts, have Reyes Moronta returning, and more minor leaguers like Tyler Cyr in the mix. The Giants recently traded Sam Coonrod, who spent much of 2020 in the Major League bullpen, to the Phillies, trimming the competition.
Alcantara, 29, has spent parts of four years in the Majors, including 2016 with the Oakland Athletics. Frankly, none of them were impressive, and over four seasons in 167 games, he slashed .189/.235/.315. He’s spent time in the miors and the Mexican League since. In 2019, he hit .294/.358/.508 with 13 home runs in 92 games at Triple-A Syracuse, in the New York Mets organization, and signed as a free agent with the Angels. He was in their 60-man player pool for 2020 but did not get called up.
Alcantara will add some depth overall to the team. In 2019 with the Met’s teams, he played second base, left field and center field, and in 2018 in the Mexican League, he primarily played shortstop (66 games). He’ll compete for a spot backing up the middle of the infield, a place where the Giants don’t have a lot of options right now.