The Pirates are designating right-hander Andre Jackson for assignment, as first reported by Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports. Pittsburgh needed to create a 40-man roster spot after re-signing Andrew McCutchen yesterday. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (on X) that Jackson sought his release to pursue a deal with a team in Japan.
Pittsburgh acquired Jackson from the Dodgers in a minor trade in June. He’d been designated for assignment by Los Angeles leading up to that deal, which saw the Bucs send cash the other way. The 27-year-old started seven of 12 appearances down the stretch, his first rotation work at the major league level. Jackson turned in decent results, pitching to a 4.33 ERA across 43 2/3 innings. He struck hitters out at a solid 23% clip, although his 10.7% walk rate hinted at the control questions that have persisted for his entire career.
Jackson has long shown a combination of intriguing stuff and wobbly strike-throwing ability. He has pitched parts of three seasons at the MLB level, working to a 4.25 ERA through 82 2/3 frames. The Houston product has a less imposing 5.07 mark in 140 1/3 innings of work at the Triple-A level, where he has walked almost 15% of batters faced.
The control inconsistency meant that Jackson could have found himself on the roster bubble in 2024. This was his final minor league option season, so he’d have had to remain on Pittsburgh’s MLB team, be placed on waivers or traded. Given the chance that he’d have landed on the waiver wire, he apparently preferred to head to NPB and lock in some guaranteed money. He’ll technically land on waivers in the next few days but figures to go unclaimed and be released.