Phillies weigh trading Blanton for bullpen help

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The News Journal’s Scott Lauber’s believes the Phillies would consider trading Joe Blanton to land the setup man for Brad Lidge they desire.
There’s no reason to believe it’s been discussed, but a Joe Blanton-for-George Sherrill deal would make perfect sense if the Dodgers have any financial flexibility at all. Blanton figures to make $8 million or so in his final year of arbitration. Sherrill is due $4 million-$4.5 million and has two years to go before free agency.
In Sherrill, the Phillies would get the setup man with closing experience they so obviously crave. They’d also free up a spot for Pedro Martinez if they wanted to re-sign the right-hander. As thngs stand now, they’re looking at a rotation of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Blanton, J.A. Happ and perhaps Jamie Moyer.

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.