Jackson had become an extra part with the Rays, who plan to put rookie David Price in their starting rotation in 2009. Tampa Bay has been seeking an outfielder to replace Rocco Baldelli, and still could use another bat to replace designated hitter Cliff Floyd.
"This certainly doesn't take us out of the running for a DH/right field-type player," Rays general manager Andrew Friedman said. "But it gives us depth."
Because of the number of outfielders still available, both on the free-agent market and the trade market, the Rays believe they can be patient as they try to acquire another bat. The Rays would prefer a right-handed hitter to complement a lineup filled with lefties, but sources said they won't rule out a hitter simply because he's left-handed.
The Tigers had focused on getting bullpen help, but they also have rotation issues. Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, Armando Galarraga and Jackson are now set, but the Tigers have little confidence in Nate Robertson or Dontrelle Willis.
One name to watch for in spring training is Rick Porcello, the Tigers' top draft pick in 2007.
The Tigers aren't sure what they'll do about the clsoer job. They don't have the money to play for Brian Fuentes, and they don't believe that Trevor Hoffman can succeed in the American League. They could try to trade for a closer, possibly George Sherrill of the Orioles.