Former SF Giants reliever Jay Jackson was designated for assignment by Atlanta on Friday to create a space on the 40-man roster for Ozzie Albies. Jackson was a reliever in the Giants organization last season and was traded to Atlanta for cash and a possible player to be named later (San Francisco has not received a player).
Jackson was expected to compete for a spot in Atlanta's Opening Day bullpen in spring training, but a lat strain kept him out for the first months of the season. When Jackson returned, he was excellent at Triple-A, recording a 1.83 ERA with 21 strikeouts and just three walks in 19.2 innings (19 appearances).
Atlanta briefly promoted Jackson to the big-league roster in August, but he made just two appearances before he was optioned back to Triple-A. In 1.1 innings pitched, Jackson allowed no runs on one hit with one strikeout.
The Giants signed Jackson to a minor-league deal prior to the start of the 2021 season. Jackson had an excellent track record as a Triple-A reliever and had been solid in his brief big-league opportunities. However, his most impressive performance was in Japan from 2016-2018.
Much like his time in Atlanta, Jackson missed the early part of last season with an injury but immediately dominated Triple-A upon his return. He allowed just two runs on five hits and one walk over 14 innings pitched (10 appearances) with 24 strikeouts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Eventually, recognizing his standout performance, the Giants promoted him to their big-league roster. Jackson quickly emerged as a fan favorite for his firey mentality on the mound, helping San Francisco escape many tight jams. Jackson was an effective middle reliever with the Giants, posting a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks.
Given Jackson's prolonged track record of excellent Triple-A performance and solid MLB numbers, it would be surprising to see him go unclaimed. Jackson is under team control for at least the next four seasons.
Given the SF Giants current bloated 40-man roster, it might be surprising to see them claim Jay Jackson off waivers. Granted, the team clearly needs to shake up their bullpen after an ugly 2022. If Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi sees Jackson as a viable big-league reliever, a reunion could be on the horizon.