Link-O-Rama: Sheffield wants to play in 2010

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* Gary Sheffield wants to play next season and has shown that he’s still a productive hitter, but the market for a 41-year-old, oft-injured, should-be platoon designated hitter doesn’t figure to be especially strong.
* Cecil Cooper took the fall for the Astros’ disappointing season, but as Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle points out the general manager who built a 70-80 team with a $107 million payroll also deserves plenty of blame.
* Edwin Jackson’s recent struggles have some people suggesting that he’s been tipping pitches, but a career-high workload for a pitcher who came into this season with a 5.15 lifetime ERA is probably an overlooked theory.
* Adam LaRoche has hit .350 with 12 homers in 45 games since returning to Atlanta and Chipper Jones wants the Braves to re-sign the impending free agent. LaRoche has played for three teams this season, so naturally he’s looking for a multi-year deal.
* The man who once traded Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields writes about the mistake that Billy Beane made trading Andre Ethier for Milton Bradley.
* Yovani Gallardo is now officially the Brewers’ ace.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.