The Red Sox obtained Conor Jackson, an outfielder and first baseman, from Oakland tonight for minor league reliever Jason Rice.
Jackson was hitting .249 with four home runs and 38 RBIs for the Athletics. The righthanded hitter is at .254 against lefthanders this season without a home run. He has a career line of 286/.384/.441 against lefthanders.
Jackson also has vastly more experience in left field than right, where he has played only 28 games. All have come this season.
Bobby Jenks was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Jackson on the 40-man roster. With the rosters expanding today, Jackson can join the major league team immediately.
General manager Theo Epstein said that Jackson brings versatility along with the ability to put together a good at-bat against a lefthander.
Rice was 4-5 with a 3.69 ERA on 44 appearances for Class AAA Pawtucket. Oakland included cash to pay a portion of Jackson’s remaining salary.
The Red Sox were expecting to add J.D. Drew tomorrow. But he sprained his right middle finger while playing for Pawtucket on Tuesday.
Drew was scratched from the Pawtucket lineup tonight and will return to Fenway Park to be evaluated.
“We’ll see what happens,” Epstein said. “He was kind of uncomfortable swinging the bat.”
Epstein said earlier in the day that the Sox were content with Darnell McDonald as a righthanded hitting outfielder despite his .195 batting average. But they snared Jackson just before the midnight deadline to add players who can be eligible for the postseason roster.
The Sox also signed veteran lefthander Trever Miller to a minor league contract on Tuesday and today did the same with outfielder Joey Gathright. They were assigned to Class AAA Pawtucket and are eligible to be added to the postseason roster.
“You get a free look and you never know,” Epstein said. “In the case of Gathright and the case of Miller, guys can potentially fulfill, or at least add depth if not fulfill, very specialty roles.
“Gathright’s case as a pinch-runner who can steal a base and in Miller’s case a left-on-left guy. … Never know if they’ll serve a purpose either as depth or the right guy as the 25th guy on a postseason roster.”
Gathright was playing for the independent Yuma Scorpions under manager Jose Canseco, who broke the news of the signing on Twitter.
Gathright, 30, played 17 games for the Red Sox in 2009 after being obtained from Baltimore on Aug. 29 and was on the playoff roster a pinch runner. He hasn’t been in the majors since.
Miller, 38, was released by the Blue Jays on Aug. 21. He has appeared in 45 games this season for the Cardinals and Jays, throwing 19.1 innings. Lefties are 16 for 52 (.308) against him, however, with six extra-base hits, eight walks and eight strikeouts.
Another intriguing player is righthander Junichi Tazawa, who could be added to the roster tomorrow. He has pitched well in relief at Pawtucket, his latest stop in a comeback from Tommy John surgery.