Outfielder Conor Jackson has decided to retire, according to a tweet by the Norfolk Tides, the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate. Jackson signed a minor league deal with the Orioles last December and was their final cut this spring after posting a slash line of .302/.327/.528 with three home runs and six RBIs in 22 games. Norfolk manager Ron Johnson said Jackson is healthy but he has been wrestling with the decision to retire as his heart is just not into baseball right now, reports MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko (Twitter links).
"A lot happens during the season and I've been on teams where the 25-man roster starts one way and ends up a different way within six weeks," Jackson said when he was cut (as quoted by Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun). "It's a funny game and things work differently."
Things did work differently when Jackson managed only five hits in 25 at-bats for a .200/.333/.240 batting line in his nine games with the Tides. Taken by the Diamondbacks with the 19th overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft, Jackson was ranked by Baseball America as the 17th best prospect entering the 2006 season and he didn't disappoint averaging a slash line of .292/.371/.451 from 2006-2008 for Arizona. Jackson then contracted Valley Fever that offseason and was never the same. His last MLB action came in 2011 when appeared in 114 games for the A's and Red Sox, the most since his illness, hitting .244/.310/.341. The 30-year-old spent the entire 2012 campaign at Triple-A in the White Sox's organization recording a line of .277/.363/.434.
According to Baseball Reference, the 30-year-old made nearly $10.5MM during his seven-year MLB career (658 games) and finishes with a slash line of .271/.351/.407.