HOUSTON — Austin Jackson’s mostly disappointing year-plus run with the Mariners came to an end Monday when they traded him to the Chicago Cubs just prior to the deadline for clubs to set their postseason rosters.
The Mariners received a player to be named later and the Cubs’ fourth-round international slot bonus of $211,100.
Jackson, 28, is a pending free agent and, with a current salary of $7.7 million, did not figure in the Mariners’ future plans.
"We would prefer to be buyers (rather) than sellers at this point," interim general manager Jeff Kingston said. "But for us, at this point in time, it’s more about the future and looking ahead."
The first and most immediate consequence of the trade is former shortstop Brad Miller will become of the club’s regular center fielder. The Mariners appear committed to rookie Ketel Marte as their regular shortstop.
"We’d like to see quite a bit of (Miller in center field)," Kingston said. "At this point in time, it’s probably his best fit for this organization going forward. We think he has the components and that skill set to play out there.
"If he can play out there, it’s a huge asset to this organization moving forward."
The Mariners acquired Jackson from Detroit on July 31, 2014 in a three-team trade that sent infielder Nick Franklin to Tampa Bay.
That deal sought to provide the Mariners, then engaged in a postseason push, with a reliable leadoff hitter while filling a hole in center field. But he batted just .229 with a .267 on-base percentage in 54 games.
Jackson also struggled for much of this season before going on a 28-for-71 surge over the last 18 games. That pushed his average from .247 to .272.
The Cubs began looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder after Jorge Soler recently suffered a strained left oblique. Soler isn’t expected to return before late September.
Clubs faced a 9 p.m. (PDT) deadline Monday to set their postseason rosters. Any player acquired after the deadline is ineligible to play in postseason for his new team.
"Austin will go to the Cubs and help them down the stretch," Kingston said. "We get some international slot money that will help Tim Kissner and his group go and sign some good young players that helps us for the future."
Kissner is the Mariners’ director of international operations.