Jackson, 27, was the sixth selection overall in the 2014 draft by the Mariners and made his big league debut with the Braves in 2019. Though he’s appeared in the majors every season since then, he’s never managed to stick on a big league roster or hit in the majors, with a career slash line of just .141/.243/.227 in 185 major league plate appearances. He’s hit better in the minor leagues, with a career slash line of .244/.327/.523 in 905 trips to the plate at the Triple-A level. Between those minor league results, his previous draft pedigree, and his relative youth, Jackson is an interesting depth addition for a Rays club that needed additional catching depth after Francisco Mejia went on the injured list with a sprained knee two weeks ago.
To acquire Jackson, they’ll part with McKendry, a 25-year-old pitching prospect the club selected in the ninth round of the 2019 draft. With a career 4.00 ERA in 110 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level and a 23.6% strikeout rate during that time, McKendry figures to provide the Brewers with upper-level pitching depth going forward, a particularly valuable commodity given right-hander Julio Teheran’s recent placement on the injured list. While the Rays have dealt with plenty of pitching injuries of their own, McKendry’s loss is made up for by today’s acquisition of right-hander Adrian Sampson, to say nothing of yesterday’s blockbuster that brought back Aaron Civale.