The San Diego Padres have granted Randy "Jay" Jackson his release on Saturday. Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the pitcher is headed to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, a professional team in Japan's Central League.
Should the 28-year-old sign with the Japanese team, he will leave the Padres to 39 players on their current 40-man roster. The Carp is the same franchise that posted pitcher Kenta Maeda this offseason.
Jackson was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the ninth round of the MLB Draft in 2009. He will likely move on to the Asian country after making six appearances at the big league level in the US. All of those appearances have come in 2015 as a member of the Padres.
He finished the season with no losses, wins, holds or saves, but he did toss 4.1 innings while allowing seven hits, three earned runs and a single walk to accompany his four strikeouts. Jackson was formerly a top prospect with the Cubs. He is also a veteran of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, and Miami Marlins systems.
Jackson's release marks the second time this week that San Diego lost a reliever to the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Former Padres pitcher Marcos Mateo, who is now a free agent, appears set to join the Hanshin Tigers.
Mateo reportedly took a physical for the Tigers last week, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. If everything checks out, Lin added that the 31-year-old right-hander will likely sign a contract with the said team, who would presumably send cash to San Diego in exchange for acquiring Mateo.
Like Jackson, Mateo is a former Cubs prospect who did a decent job out of San Diego's bullpen in 2015, delivering an ERA of 4.00 and 33/9 K/BB ratio across 27 innings. For the past three years, Mateo had been in the Triple-A, the Dominican Winter League and the San Diego Padres. He made outstanding performances in those stints, averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings and a combined 2.53 ERA across that variety of leagues.
Padres General Manager A.J. Preller has this to say about Mateo's skills, "He's a guy that we watched this year. (Special assignment scout) Steve Lyons was big in terms of recommending him. He may not have big stats, but he's a competitor, a strike-thrower, has started and relieved, attacks with a good fastball."
With Mateo out of the picture, it will subtract another player from the Padres' crowded bullpen. Aside from him, San Diego already has a handful of right-handed pitchers such as Kevin Quackenbush, Nick Vincent, Odrisamer Despaigne, Brandon Maurer, Cory Mazzoni, Jon Edwards and Cesar Vargas.