ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that pitcher Justin Duchscherer has received offers from three clubs, and will soon settle on a team. There has been a lot of chatter about the Yankees being interested lately, but that seems a little late to the game, and no word of an offer has yet seeped out of Yankeeland. Given how many people crawl that beat, I’d be rather surprised if a previously unreported offer had been made by New York.
Duchscherer is reported to be asking for a far more reasonable deal than his many comparables on the market right now — Brett Myers, Ben Sheets, etc. — so it makes sense that he’d be the first potentially useful/certainly risky free agents to sign.
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.