Rangers drop Clay Rapada from roster, add Mark Lowe

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San Francisco made no changes to its roster for the World Series, but Texas made a minor switch in the bullpen by dropping left-hander Clay Rapada and replacing him with right-hander Mark Lowe.

Rapada was added to the ALCS roster to help combat the Yankees’ left-handed hitters, and particularly Robinson Cano, but he failed to do the job particularly well. Beyond that the Giants’ lineup is heavy on right-handed bats, with Aubrey Huff the only left-handed hitter likely to see significant action.

Lowe was acquired from the Mariners as a sort of throw-in to the Cliff Lee trade and spent his first two months as Rangers property on the disabled list following back surgery. However, prior to going under the knife he had a 3.95 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 175 innings for the Mariners and when healthy has a mid-90s fastball.

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.