Great post over at The Daily Something this morning trying to figure out which player will be the last Montreal Expos veteran to play in the big leagues. Bill picks Vlad Guerrero on the theory that he’s the best player left and is a DH. Personally I’d go with someone like Jon Rauch or Javier Vazquez, but good arguments can be made for several dudes. Personally I want Matt Stairs to play until he’s 53, but that’s probably not likely.
I’m actually kind of surprised that there are still so many former Expos left. I know 2004 wasn’t that long ago, but it’s not like the late-model Expos had oodles and oodles of talent to burn. But they did have a ton of great players run through there just before the end only to fall victim to the Jeff Loria-induced Expos diaspora that has since fertilized the rosters of a ton of other teams.
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.