Why the Rangers decided pass on Denton’s Austin Jackson

BOSTON – The Rangers designated Denton’s Austin Jackson for assignment Wednesday when it became clear they could not find a trade partner unwilling to take on any significant amount of the money still owed to him.

For the Rangers, it comes down to this: Little-used Ryan Rua and lesser-used Carlos Tocci offer more long-term value. Or at least still the faint possibility of long-term value.

The Rangers right now are about looking toward the future.

So, instead, they DFA’d the 31-year-old Jackson, giving them 10 days to trade, release or assign him to the minors. They will almost certainly grant him his release, giving Jackson the opportunity to sign elsewhere and allowing the Rangers to recoup some relative pennies on the $4.5 million he is still owed through next year. If Jackson signs a major league deal for this year and gets a major league deal for next year, the Rangers would save about $750,000 as the signing clubs would have to pay a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum.

“If we had brought him here, it probably only would have been for a short term and we didn’t think it was the right fit for the turnover of the club,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “There were a couple of guys we could have sent down for the short term, but that’s not what we are really trying to do.”

The Rangers will have to make a move on the roster this weekend when they activate Saturday starter Martin Perez. They could either send down a reliever such as Ricardo Rodriguez or somebody like Rua. Both players have been sent optioned previously this year; the Rangers would like to minimize the shuffling if it is unnecessary.

When the Rangers acquired Jackson from San Francisco, they knew they’d likely be on the hook for the majority of his remaining contract. Had the Giants been able to get somebody to take Jackson’s salary, they likely would have made that move and not given up pitching prospect Jason Bahr. For the Rangers, the $4.5 million investment in Jackson was essentially the cost of “buying ” Bahr.